Why Does Mouthwash Burn My Tongue?

Are you one of those wondering, "Why does mouthwash feel like I'm rinsing with fire?"

Maybe you just got used to it, but that feeling shouldn't be there at all. Well, we can only say one thing: Blame it on the alcohol!

Yup, alcohol can cause an unwanted burning sensation and can lead to:

  • dryness
  • sensitive gums
  • and irritation

Thankfully, alcohol free mouthwash is the perfect alternative as it has the same efficacy without unpleasant side effects.

Keep on reading to know more about the reasons and safe solutions towards a more soothing and enjoyable swish.

Is mouthwash a must?

A bottle and Box packaging of SWISH Mouthwash

Yes, mouthwash is a must. The American Dental Association recommends using mouthwash to maintain optimal oral health.

Our teeth go through so much daily when we drink, eat, speak, and do other activities involving our mouths. All these activities lead to:

  • plaque buildup
  • tooth decay
  • gum disease
  • bad breath (halitosis)
  • tooth discoloration
  • oral sensitivity
  • xerostomia
  • and oral infections.

That's why regularly brushing with fluoride-free toothpaste and flossing with expandable floss can help lessen or kill bacteria in your mouth. 

However, not all dental calculus or bad bacteria in our mouth can be reached by brushing and flossing.

This is where SWISH Mouthwash comes in handy.

Research shows that alcohol free mouthwash, especially without rubbing alcohol, is great at reducing plaque and preventing gum problems without causing any harm or burning sensation.

Using this kind of mouthwash daily helps lower the amount of bad bacteria in your mouth, making your gums healthier.

My tongue burns with mouthwash, should I be worried?

Your tongue burns with mouthwash because your mouthwash includes ingredients like alcohol and chlorhexidine.

While some people can tolerate these irritants, many individuals with sensitive teeth and gums cannot. Don't worry, that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you!

If you deal with a burning sensation from your mouthwash, try switching to alcohol free mouthwash instead as it is gentler on the sensitive tissues in your mouth.

4 Reasons Why Mouthwash Burns Tongue

a lady holding her hand up

While mouthwash is good for you, sometimes alcohol-based mouthwashes can causes unwanted side effects.

Yup, the sensation of mouthwash burning your tongue often stems from its key ingredients. Let's explore a few!


While alcohol serves as a natural antiseptic and aids in extending the shelf life of products like mouthwash, it can also be the culprit behind that burning sensation during rinsing.

The burning sensation comes from alcohol's ability to irritate the sensitive tissues in the mouth.

If alcohol concentrations bother your mouth, you can try using alcohol-free mouthwashes or a therapeutic mouthwash.

Be cautious if you already have xerostomia and mouth ulcers, as alcohol and hydrogen peroxide can exacerbate this condition.


This is a scientifically proven ingredient in mouthwash that gives mouthwash a cool, minty taste.

It comes from mint and peppermint plants and helps fight bacteria while also freshening your breath.

However, it can cause a burning sensation as a side effect. Some people find this sensation uncomfortable, especially those with sensitive mouths.


Prescribed for individuals with chronic gum disease undergoing deep cleanings, therapeutic mouthwashes with chlorhexidine (CHX) can cause a burning sensation.

Plus, the FDA has documented rare but severe allergies to chlorhexidine.

There are weaker over-the-counter versions, but prolonged use is not recommended due to the potential for tooth staining.

Different Types of Sensitivity

Our mouths are as unique as our fingerprints. Some of us have more sensitive oral tissues, making us prone to that burning feeling.

Mouthwash may cause discomfort for individuals with various sensitivities, contributing to the burning sensation as it is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Factors like individual tolerance levels and dental health conditions can affect how different people react to the ingredients in mouthwash.

However, using mouthwash should not be a painful experience, and that's where alcohol-free options like SWISH Mouthwash come to the rescue!

Can mouthwash cause dental issues?

Yes, certain mouthwashes containing high concentrations of alcohol or acidic ingredients can potentially contribute to dental issues such as

  • enamel erosion
  • gum irritation
  • and dry mouth

when used excessively or over a prolonged period.

Additionally, some mouthwashes may mask underlying dental problems by temporarily reducing symptoms like bad breath or gingivitis without addressing the root cause.

Does mouthwash burning mean it's working?

a person with experiencing burning sensation

No, the burning feeling does not necessarily signify the effectiveness of the mouthwash.

It is often attributed to ingredients like alcohol or antimicrobial agents present in the mouthwash formulation.

Even though these things help the mouthwash kill bacteria, the burn doesn't necessarily mean it's cleaning your mouth better.

The key is to choose a mouthwash that suits your preferences and dental health needs.

So, consider alcohol free or milder formulations for a more comfortable oral care experience that can:

  • reduce plaque buildup
  • whiten teeth
  • prevent gum disease
  • control bad breath
  • and prevent tooth decay

Additionally, always follow recommended usage guidelines for the selected mouthwash to maximize its benefits without unnecessary discomfort.

Is mouthwash burn harmful?

A man holding mouthwash

No, the burning sensation from mouthwash may not be harmful, but it is certainly not doing you any favors!

Instead, you can look for a gentler alternative for the best and most effective results!

Do all mouthwashes burn?

No, not all mouthwashes burn.

The sensation of burning in the mouth is often associated with certain ingredients found in some mouthwash formulations, such as alcohol or antimicrobial solid agents.

Plus, that burning sensation can come from the overuse of mouthwash, which can irritate your mouth tissue and lead to mouth sores.

Some oral rinses contain no alcohol and are less likely cause a burning sensation than others.

What will happen if I continue using mouthwash that burns?

a collage of people with different expressions due to the effect of alcohol mouthwash

Continuing to use a mouthwash that causes a burning sensation may lead to discomfort, mainly if the burning is due to factors like alcohol content or strong antimicrobial agents.

Here are some potential consequences:

Oral Sensitivity

Prolonged use of a mouthwash that burns your tongue may contribute to increased oral sensitivity, making the experience uncomfortable and possibly irritating to the gums and other oral tissues.

Dry Mouth

Mouthwashes containing alcohol can contribute to dry mouth (xerostomia). If you already have a dry mouth, using a mouthwash that causes that burning sensation may exacerbate this condition.

Potential for Irritation

Continuous use of mouthwash causing a burning feeling may lead to irritation of the oral mucosa, potentially affecting the delicate balance of the oral environment.

Discomfort During Use

Persistent mouthwash pain may discourage regular oral hygiene practices, potentially impacting oral health.

Disruption of Normal Oral Microbiota

Some strong antimicrobial agents can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the mouth, potentially affecting the normal oral microbiota.


Continuous exposure to a mouthwash that induces a burning sensation may contribute to inflammation in the oral tissues, increasing the risk of dental health issues.

Altered Taste Perception

Prolonged use of a strong mouthwash may temporarily or permanently affect taste perception.

To address these issues, consider switching to an alcohol free or milder mouth rinse formulation.

If discomfort persists or if you have specific dental health concerns, we recommend consulting with a dentist or oral care professional for personalized advice.

Mouthwash Should Not Hurt - Here's the Solution!

A woman smiling while holding a bottle of SWISH Mouthwash

Using a mouthwash that causes discomfort is not ideal for maintaining good oral health.

Mouthwash should not hurt, and safe solutions are available to ensure a pleasant and effective oral hygiene routine.

Consider using a mouth rinse with neem, licorice extracts, and essential oils – a gentler alternative to alcohol-based mouthwashes.

Mouthwash Benefits

The right mouthwash for you shouldn't burn, and it can ever offer several benefits for oral hygiene, including:

  • Freshening breath: Mouthwash containing antimicrobial agents can help kill bacteria that cause bad breath
  • Reducing plaque: Antiseptic mouthwashes can help reduce plaque buildup, which in turn decreases your risk of developing tooth decay
  • Soothing oral irritation: Some mouthwashes contain ingredients that can help soothe minor gum irritation or oral sores, providing relief from discomfort.

For all of these benefits and more, we recommend trying out therapeutic mouthwashes over cosmetic mouthwashes are they not only treat oral care concerns but will also freshen your breath just like cosmetic mouthwashes.

Summary: Why does my mouthwash burn my tongue?

The burning sensation in mouthwash often comes from alcohol content, leading to discomfort.

The good news is you can avoid this by choosing alcohol-free options that clean just as effectively without the burn.

SWISH Mouthwash, with its alcohol-free formula, is a standout choice for maintaining optimal dental health, reducing plaque, and promoting healthier gums.

And here's the bottom line: the burn isn't harmful, but why endure it? Switch to SWISH to a gentler alternative for a more enjoyable and soothing oral care experience.

Don't keep the secret from mouthwash; spread it—choose alcohol free options.

Your mouth deserves the best!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my mouthwash burn?

The burning sensation experienced with some mouthwashes is often a result of ingredients such as alcohol or potent antimicrobial agents, which are included to enhance deep cleaning. While this sensation is generally not harmful, for those bothered by it, our alcohol-free option provides a more comfortable alternative without compromising effectiveness.

Is a burning mouthwash harmful?

While burning mouthwash is typically not harmful, we understand that personal comfort is important. If the sensation bothers you, consider switching to SWISH, our alcohol-free option, which offers the benefits of mouthwash without the discomfort associated with alcohol-based products.

Can I use a mouthwash without alcohol?

Yes, you can use a mouthwash without alcohol. Our alcohol-free mouthwashes provide an alternative that is not only effective in maintaining oral hygiene but also offers a more comfortable experience for those who prefer to avoid the burning sensation often associated with alcohol-based mouthwashes.

What causes the burning in some mouthwashes?

The burning sensation in some mouthwashes is caused by ingredients like alcohol which can contribute to a perceived sensation of heat or tingling.

Are there mouthwashes that don't burn?

Yes, our mouthwash is formulated not to burn. We offer milder formulas and alcohol-free options that provide effective oral care without causing the discomfort associated with a burning sensation, ensuring a more pleasant experience for users.

Is the burn an indicator of a mouthwash's effectiveness?

No, the burning sensation in a mouthwash doesn't necessarily indicate superior cleaning. It's often a matter of individual perception, and our products are designed to provide effective cleaning without relying on a burning sensation as an indicator of their efficacy.

How often should I use mouthwash?

For optimal oral hygiene, you should use mouthwash as directed on the product or follow the recommendations of your dentist, typically twice a day. Consistent use ensures the best results in promoting a healthy mouth and fresh breath.

Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash

Swish Mouthwash

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Immerse yourself in the revitalizing freshness of our latest formulation, Swish. A testament to biöm's unwavering commitment to holistic health and well-being. Harnessing the potent benefits of mother nature, our mouthwash combines science and nature's bounty to deliver a unique solution for impeccable oral hygiene and lasting fresh breath.

Bottled at 16 fl oz, our herbal mouthwash formula takes the best of what nature has to offer:

Neem and Licorice Extracts: Used for centuries in traditional medicine, these power-packed botanicals promote oral health by combating harmful bacteria and providing natural anti-inflammatory benefits.

Spearmint and Peppermint Essential Oils: Long-lasting freshness is no longer a dream. These cooling natural oils ensure you'll enjoy a pleasant, long-lasting minty freshness that truly invigorates.

Xylitol and Stevia: We've incorporated these natural sweeteners to provide an enjoyable, refreshing taste without any guilt – they actually help in maintaining a healthy pH balance in your mouth!

Aloe Vera Juice: Say goodbye to the harsh, drying effect of traditional mouthwashes. Our formula includes these natural moisturizing agents for a comfortable rinse that leaves your mouth feeling hydrated.

Not just that, our formula is as kind to the Earth as it is to your mouth:

❖ Free from harsh chemicals and artificial preservatives

❖ Cruelty-free and vegan

❖ Eco-friendly packaging


Shake well before use. Swish approximately one tablespoon of mouthwash in your mouth for about 30 seconds, then spit it out.

Experience the biöm difference today – because your oral health is a reflection of your overall wellness.