Use mouthwash? There may be a correlation between oral cancer and alcohol-based mouthwash

mouthwashAre you a daily mouthwash user? Are you using mouthwash more than once a day? If so, you may be interested to know that a recent study suggests that the frequent usage of alcohol-based mouthwashes can be bad for your health. In fact, there may be a “link between excessive mouthwash rinsing and people who use it to mask the small of smoking and alcohol,” both of which are independent risk factors for oral cancer.

The study, which was undertaken in order to isolate risk factors for oral cancers affecting the mouth, esophagus, larynx, and gullet, was not entirely conclusive in its findings, according to Professor Damien Walmsley, who is an adviser to the British Dental Association. However, he also stated that the study does “reaffirm that smoking together with heavy drinking and a poor diet over time are strong risk factors for developing cancers of the oral cavity and esophagus.”

Though the results of such studies have yet to produce a strong enough association between oral cancer and alcohol-based mouthwashes to be considered conclusive, we at FDA prefer to err on the side of caution. We provide a mouth rinse in our office that is alcohol-free, called Closys, and we’re also in the process of adding a new, all-herbal rinse as well.

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