DIY Mouthwash – An Oral Microbiome-Friendly Turmeric Recipe

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Hi, I’m Dr. B, practicing functional dentist for 35 years. I graduated from the Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, CA in 1987 and am a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), Academy of General Dentistry (Chicago, IL), American Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH), and Dental Board of California. I'm on a mission to empower people everywhere with the same evidence-based, easy-to-understand dental health advice that my patients get. Learn more about Dr. B

If you’re one of the millions of people who use mouthwash on a daily basis, you may not realize that bottle of blue or green liquid on your counter may be doing more harm than good. In fact, it may be contributing to the very bad breath and cavity formation that you’re trying to prevent.

The solution? This turmeric mouth rinse will fight irritation and inflammation, improving both dental and oral health—and you can make it yourself.

While long promoted as a necessary part of a good dental hygiene routine, conventional mouthwash is actually bad for you. It’s often filled with harsh chemicals and ingredients that disrupt the oral microbiome and dry the mouth, causing bad breath and leaving you more susceptible to cavities, mouth ulcers, and even oral cancer.

I’m a big fan of DIY dental care products—from toothpaste to retainer cleaner—and I love that this mouth rinse recipe contains one of my favorite ingredients: turmeric.

Turmeric is filled with antioxidants that can decrease oral irritation and inflammation, which are the root cause of most diseases including gingivitis and periodontitis. (1, 2) This rinse won’t get to the root problem of whatever is causing your inflammation and irritation, nor can it cure gingivitis or periodontitis. But it can ease symptoms while you improve your diet, begin taking oral probiotics and other supplements, and seek advice from a trusted dentist.

Additionally, turmeric can help to reduces teeth stains while also preventing the production of plaque. (3)

Here’s a look at the remaining ingredients in this mouth rinse and their equally amazing benefits:

L-Arginine is an amino acid supplement that helps prevent tooth decay while preserving the health of the oral microbial flora.

Calcium carbonate is a gentle and safe way remove debris and surface stains.

Baking soda reduces the formation of plaque and halitosis, while helping to prevent gum disease and cleaning the teeth. Baking also helps restore the mouth’s pH, and its antibacterial and antifungal properties have been proven to kill Streptococcus mutans, which is linked to tooth decay. (4)

Cloves reduce inflammation, help remineralize the teeth, and, because of their antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties, fight infections. Cloves also stimulate circulation, enhancing gum tissue health. (5)

Learn More: Is Mouthwash Bad for You?: Examining the Top Mouthwash Risks and Alternatives Print

Oral Microbiome-Friendly Mouthwash

turmeric mouthwash

This mouthwash is best used before bed, to minimize the impact of foods eaten during the day. Swish a tablespoon for up to one minute before spitting. Do not swallow, and be sure to store in the refrigerator to keep fresh.

  • Author: Dr. Burhenne
  • Prep Time: 65 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x




  1. Remove the cloves from the water and add the remaining ingredients, including the water, to a glass jar.turmeric mouthwash
  2. Whisk until well-combined, or add a lid to the jar and shake, or add to a high-speed blender.turmeric mouthwash
  3. Use 1 tablespoon worth for a quick rinse.turmeric mouthwash

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