Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mouth Wash

This is interesting:

Alcohol in Mouthwash Linked to Oral Cancer

Australian researchers have linked alcohol, an ingredient found in many mouthwashes, to oral cancer and are calling for them to be pulled immediately from supermarket shelves. The review, published in the Dental Journal of Australia, says there is “sufficient evidence” that “alcohol-containing mouthwashes contribute to the increased risk of development of oral cancer.”

The alcohol is believed to allow carcinogenic substances to enter the lining of the mouth more easily. In addition, acetaldehyde, which is a toxic byproduct of alcohol that can build up in the mouth when mouthwash is swished around, is also thought to cause cancer.

Some brands, such as Listerine, contain over 25 percent alcohol.

Lead author Professor Michael McCullough believes mouthwashes that contain alcohol should be available only by prescription. McCullough, who is chair of the Australian Dental Association is urging the ADA to consider withdrawing their seal of approval for mouthwashes that contain alcohol. (The American Dental Association also gives mouthwashes containing alcohol its seal of approval.)

“We see people with oral cancer who have no other risk factors than the use of alcohol-containing mouthwash,” he told News.com.au. McCullough’s review found that using alcohol-containing mouthwashes daily raised the risk of developing cancers of the mouth, pharynx, and larynx 400 to 500 percent. Those who smoked and used alcohol mouthwashes had a 900 percent increase in risk.

McCullough believes mouthwashes are more risky than alcohol or beer because they usually contain higher concentrations of alcohol than wine or beer and are kept in the mouth longer. “If you have a glass of wine, you tend to swallow it,” he said. “With mouthwash, you have a higher level of alcohol and spend longer swishing it around your mouth. The alcohol that is present in your mouth is turned into acetaldehyde.”

McCullough recommends switching to an alcohol-free mouthwash.

6 comments:

Dad and Susan said...

Have you ever tried Listerine? One time was enough for me. Seems like a no-brainer for the ADA to withdraw their support. Once again, an interesting blog. Love, Dad and Susan

Jill said...

I think it's interesting that while Australia pulled all the alcohol based mouth washes off their shelves, we haven't done it here. My mom always told me to stay away from alcohol based mouth washes but I never knew why.
Thanks Susan for your comment. :)

Lisa said...

WE ARE BIG time Listerine Users over here. Always have a gallon of it here. We'll be at a loss and have used ot for years.

The U.S. is SLOW to react whenever big $$$ is at stake. Look how long it tooke them to finally use the Japanese Vaccine for Pertussis? So many kids had a severe reactions like my daughter and it wasn't until the lawsuits and profit losses were hit that they SWITCHED. Go figure.

Jill said...

I didn't realize that about the Pertussis, that they knew before they would actually do anything about it!...but of course you would know with all your family has been through.
I loved seeing Jasmine today by the way.

Mary said...

This doesn't surprise me. I've always avoided those mouthwashes just on principle.

Re: your comment about Analyce, that's funny. We all say the same thing, that she looks like a teenager. She's a sweet girl, but she even has the teen attitude. I can clearly picture the handful she'll be for her parents in about 10 years!

Logan and Amy Heasley said...

Lemon slices, plastic water bottles, mouth wash,....I need to add one more thing to everyone's list....exhaling! Please, I beg of you, don't exhale. By exhaling you are releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) into the environment. As we all know, in this era we must be vigilant about protecting our mother earth. And who are the biggest contributers to global warming? Us! So stop exhaling now, cease from harming my family and I by stop emitting so much carbon dioxide. We must minimize our carbon footprint, and we must start today. So just say no to exhaling.

Logan