A. Listerine can kill some germs but not the germs that cause periodontal disease, so it is not an effective treatment for gum disease. Q. Are there any toothpastes or mouthwashes that can prevent gum disease? A. Today, the most effective toothpastes and mouth washes to fight periodontal disease are the ones that contain chlorine dioxide. There are several brands, most of which have been developed by a dentist and dispensed directly from dentist offices. They are designed to neutralize and break up the volatile sulfur compounds that are made by bacteria to break down the gum tissue.