Apparently mouthwash has been linked to oral cancer ...
Top-selling mouthwash brands, including Listerine, linked to cancer
By Clair Weaver
AUSTRALIA'S top-selling mouthwashes can cause oral cancer and should be pulled from supermarket shelves immediately.
Leading independent experts have issued this strong warning after investigating latest scientific evidence linking alcohol-containing mouthwashes to the deadly disease.
Their review, published in the Dental Journal of Australia, concludes there is now "sufficient evidence" that "alcohol-containing mouthwashes contribute to the increased risk of development of oral cancer".
The ethanol in mouthwash is thought to allow cancer-causing substances to permeate the lining of the mouth more easily and cause harm.
Acetaldehyde, a toxic by-product of alcohol that may accumulate in the oral cavity when swished around the mouth, is also believed to be carcinogenic.
Listerine, the nation's biggest-selling mouthwash and a brand endorsed by the Australian Dental Association (ADA), contains as much as 26 per cent alcohol.
Mouthwash is one of the fastest-growing grocery products in Australia, with the category now worth more than $75 million, according to latest Nielsen market research.
Lead review author Professor Michael McCullough has told The Sunday Telegraph alcohol-containing mouthwash should be reclassified as prescription-only and carry written health warnings.
Prof McCullough, chair of the ADA's therapeutics committee and associate professor of oral medicine at the University of Melbourne, is calling on the ADA to urgently re-assess its seal of approval on mouthwashes containing alcohol.
"We see people with oral cancer who have no other risk factors than the use of alcohol-containing mouthwash, so what we've done in this study is review all the evidence that's out there," he said.
"Since this article came out, further evidence has come out too. We believe there should be warnings.
"If it was a facial cream that had the effect of reducing acne but had a four- to five-fold increased risk of skin cancer, no one would be recommending it."
Oral cancer is a gruelling and mutilating disease that afflicts more than 800 Australians each year and kills half of them within five years of being diagnosed.
Smoking and alcohol consumption are well-established risk factors, but alcohol-containing mouthwash use is more controversial.
I know that there's a lot of "this will cause cancer" type scares regularly, most I totally ignore, but this one seems to be well researched so I thought I would bring it to your attention.
I've never actually liked mouthwash anyway, so the most I will ever do is put some on a toothbrush and brush over my teeth and then rinse straight away.
UPDATE: An here's an report with an expert who disagrees.