ZocdocAnswersWhat is the gel like substance I spit out when I use mouthwash?

Question

What is the gel like substance I spit out when I use mouthwash?

I'm a 25 year old female with no children. I have recently had my teeth cleaned and have begun a home whitening procedure for my teeth. I have been using mouthwash twice a day, after brushing; I do not have any stitches or open oral wounds. Should I be worried about the gel substance I spit into the sink?

Answer

Spitting out a gel substance is a common finding with certain types of mouthwash. As you know, mouthwash contains strong chemicals which clean the mouth. Another thing that some of these chemicals can do is interact with food debris and dead skin cells lining the cheeks and gum lines. When they interact, the result can be small gel-like flecks of debris that you spit out into the sink when you are done rinsing with the mouthwash. Unless you otherwise have symptoms, you should not have to worry. On the other hand, if you do have symptoms, such as odor, bleeding, or pain, you should see your dentist as soon as possible for evaluation. Remember also that mouthwash, although a good thing to use, is not a replacement for regularly brushing your teeth or flossing. If you are not brushing your teeth or flossing as much as before because you are using mouthwash instead, then this may explain the gel like debris that you are noticing. Without brushing, a lot more food debris an bacteria will build up at the gum line and then, when you rinse with the mouth wash, much of this will come out into the sink.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.