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best gargling liquid?

I've been having problems with my throat and have totally lost my voice (since mid january!).

The ENT consultant wanted me to come off seretide cos he said the high steroid content isn't good for the throat. Happily my GP is happy for me to stay on it but i want to be able to show ENT that i can be ok on seretide.

Anyway, i realised i didn't always rinse / gargle properly so i've decided that's my next step - is there any solution better than water for getting rid of inhaler residue from the back of my throat? For the past couple of weeks i have been gargling regularly after almost every dose of seretide but wondered if there was anything better than water such as saltwater / mouthwash etc, is cold or hot better?

11 Replies

Hi Jinglfairy,

I've had a similar problem to you, only in my case was a gastroenterologist who would have liked me to come off flixotide (so still fluticasone), blaming it for being the primary cause of thrush in my oesophagus which in turn led to oesophagitis. In my case, he recommended that I see a respiratory consultant to discuss the issue, who was not quite so convinced, particularly after he discovered that I have never had oral or pharyngeal thrush in my life.

I don't know that the type of mouth rinse is so important, so long as you are thorough. I used to take my inhaler before I cleaned my teeth (cleaning teeth being one of the recommendations in the information sheet which accompanies the medication). Now, however, I gargle and rinse out, clean my teeth and then gargle and rinse out again after using it, which even the respiratory consultant is satisfied with. It is, however, important to remember that any gargling, rinsing out, cleaning teeth, whatever, will only remove residual medication in the area covered by such activities.

One other thing my respiratory consultant said. He recommended that I should rinse my mouth out after using reliever inhalers as well (so after using ventolin too).

Hope this is of some use.

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Thanks Maggie that is useful :-) Sounds like you've got a very thorough post-inhaler technique! I don't always want to be brushing my teeth after taking my inhaler cos i'm often taking the night dose round teatime. The seretide has a 12 hour reliever in it and someone (can't remember who) recommended to try and take the morning and night doses approximately 12 hours apart.

no-one's ever said i should rinse after my reliever, that's an interesting idea - not always practical though really is it? Bit like one of the doctors told me i should use my spacer with my reliever but again not practical to carry it round when i'm carrying minimal stuff like when i'm running or horse riding!

My GP decided i didn't need to see respiratory even though the ENT suggested that might be the next step. I've got ENT follow-up in August and i suspect he'll want to put the camera down my throat again so i'm hoping my vocal cords look better then, They are / were necrotic but he didn't say anything about fixing it, from what i've read they should actually heal themselves but may take about 4 months.

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I'll admit that I was surprised at the consultant saying rinse out after taking ventolin - and for the same reason. If you need to use a ventolin inhaler when you're out and about in the middle of town, how are you supposed to rinse out. I suppose it's a case of 'if you can, do so'. The important one, however, is after the steroid inhaler.

I know my current regime might sound rather over the top, but interestingly the respiratory consultant made it quite clear that just cleaning teeth after using my inhaler was not enough - even though that is one of the suggestions made on the information sheet. He was rather happier when I told him what I was now doing, stating that that was 'about right'.

Let's keep fingers crossed for end of August:-)

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Sorry your having problems with thrush and sore throats. Inhalers have a history of doing this especially if you are run down or on antibiotics. This can increase the likelihood of getting thrush.

I have been taking steroid inhalers for years. I went through a bad spell getting oral thrush a lot and switch my inhalers from a dry powder accuhaler to an MDI device which could be used through a spacer. This stopped the dry powder being deposited on the back of my throat which I was getting due to poor technique. Thankfully once the thrush cleared up I had my inhaler technique reviewed and corrected and went back to sing the dry powder accuhaler.

When I do my morning inhalers I take them after I have had my breakfast and just before I do my teeth. I also use mouthwash after brushing just to make sure I have not missed anywhere. If I do have a sore throat I use Difflam mouthwash which can be prescribed by your GP or you can buy it from a pharmacist and it is really helpful.

Hope you can get it all sorted.


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One other note on this, I have Googled beta2 agonists and oral health - and found articles that suggest that even our reliever inhalers may have an effect on dental health, presumably if used on a regular basis and over a long term. This may well be the reason why I was told to rinse out after using ventolin. Worth checking out.


Thanks for your comments justTux, as it happens my throat isn't sore at all just annoying cos i've got no voice!

I don't like dry powder inhalers - although that may be cos i had poor technique - it was never reveiwed in years of using them! I now use a MDI with spacer for my preventer and MDI reliever, sometimes with spacer other times just as it is - but i actually did have my technique reviewed last year so at least i know i'm taking them correctly.

I also do my morning inhaler between breakfast and teeth - seems the most logical thing to do,

Maggie, that's interesting as well. And funny enough i was actually thinking of re-signing with a dentist. Naughty i know but i've not been for about 3 years *slapped wrists* If inhalers are known to have a detrimental effect on teeth it'd probably be a good idea to get them checked regularly.


I dont know if it hekps for sore throats, but for preventing oral thrush corsydyl mouthwash is fab for rincing/gargling!!

Do you use a spacer? Thats another good way to stop too much medication getting stuck in your throat and mouth!


Salt water

Or buy saline from pharmacy


Some mouthwashes can actually stain the teeth so it's probably a good idea to get your dentist to recommend the best one. Corsodyl is really bad for staining and I don't think it's meant for long term use. My dentist has told me not to use it due to the staining. Also, when I have used other mouthwashes and not even mentioned it my dentist can always tell.

Personally I just gargle with water after cleaning my teeth - I had a sore throat almost all the time on qvar until I started gargling and now I've changed to flutiform my throat is much better as well. I sometimes get irritation after taking my reliever and I can get a bit 'Marge Simpson' husky but it's not practical to gargle much at work so I try to drink green tea after taking it to sooth my throat.

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Water is my gargling and rinsing fluid of choice too.


Well i've been a good girl and signed myself in for a dentist appt on 27th May so i might ask her if she recommends anything in particular. Until then i'll keep rinsing / gargling with plain or saltwater depending on my mood and whether i can be bothered making the salt solution LOL

She might even be able to see what my vocal cords look like - whether they're still necrotic or starting to heal LOL


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