Friday, 3 December 2010

Mouthwashes - update

For some years nowI have advocated not using daily mouthwash.

Reason? There is evidence to show that there is an increased incidence of oral cancer in mouthwash users. The alcohol content of mouthwashes can be quite high - over 25% by volume in some cases. As your doctor will tell you, alcohol and nicotine are major risk factors in developement of cancers.

So the general guidance I gave was not to use daily mouthwash containing alcohol.

Further research and analysis seems to reveal that people who develope oral cancer tend to be the heavy smokers and heavy drinkers (which we might expect), who are using mouthwash to mask the smell of tobacco, or to try and cure the cancer. The alcohol in the actual mouthwash appears to have an insignificant causative affect.

Mouthwash, is, therefore, back on the menu. Our regular patients should talk to our hygienist when they visit, for specific further advice on mouthwash selection.