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Could Your Mouthwash Cause Oral Cancer?

Jun 17th, 2016

A popular scare that makes online medical headlines is the idea that your innocuous and fresh-tasting mouthwash is a ticking time bomb in a bottle.

It’s only naturally to be worried about the products you use in your mouth, but getting some more information on mouthwash might help ease your concerns.

Why This Is a Concern

Most mouthwashes contain a percentage of alcohol as a preservative and emulsifying agent. The alcohol doesn’t kill germs, but it does effectively suspend the active ingredients. Alcohol is a known risk factor for oral cancer, if consumed frequently. The issue with mouthwash is whether using one on a regular basis increases your risk for developing cancer because of exposure to the alcohol.

What We Do Know

Oral cancer does indeed have some well-documented risk factors which include:

  • Tobacco use
  • Smoking
  • Gender (males are more susceptible)
  • Radiation exposure
  • Infection with certain viruses (such as HPV)

Alcohol use is included as a risk. It should be noted that alcohol use is defined by consuming entire alcoholic drinks. No studies have yet shown that the use of a rinse that contains alcohol (even twice a day) contributes to a person’s oral cancer risk.

You can rinse quite safely, without having to change your routine.

Lowering Your Risk in Newburyport, MA

At the end of the day, you could simply make the personal decision to avoid alcohol-based rinses. A lot of patients do this anyway because they can’t have alcohol or their mouths are too dry. There are plenty of alcohol-free alternatives.

Make sure that you’re getting a professional oral cancer risk assessment on a regular basis. Stopping by our dental office for checkups and cleanings is the best way to ensure a healthy smile. We’ll also give you tailored suggestions for keeping your smile healthy and safe, with or without mouthwash!

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Anyone can train to be a technician, but few have the talent to become an artist. That’s why Dr. Mathew is able to guarantee his cosmetic dentistry work for a full 5 years. If anything goes wrong with the work, Dr. Mathew will fix it free of charge, as long as you continue with your regular 6 month preventative care cleaning and check up for the duration of the warranty.

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Here at Paul Mathew, D.D.S. we work diligently to protect our patients' privacy. Requesting an appointment via our Internet portal is considered part of what the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has identified as electronically protected healthcare information or ePHI. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, there are people or entities that may attempt to intercept the data you transmit to us. By checking the "I agree" box, and electronically making an appointment request, you acknowledge that you are making an appointment over the internet and that Paul Mathew, D.D.S. will keep this information confidential but cannot guarantee that others, outside of our practice, may illegally intercept this communication. By accepting these terms and conditions and sending this request via our Internet portal, you accept the inherent risk(s) associated with making this request for an appointment. If you do not accept the terms and conditions, you are always welcome to contact our office via telephone to schedule your appointment.

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Here at Paul Mathew, D.D.S. we work diligently to protect our patients' privacy. Requesting an appointment via our Internet portal is considered part of what the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has identified as electronically protected healthcare information or ePHI. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, there are people or entities that may attempt to intercept the data you transmit to us. By checking the "I agree" box, and electronically making an appointment request, you acknowledge that you are making an appointment over the internet and that Paul Mathew, D.D.S. will keep this information confidential but cannot guarantee that others, outside of our practice, may illegally intercept this communication. By accepting these terms and conditions and sending this request via our Internet portal, you accept the inherent risk(s) associated with making this request for an appointment. If you do not accept the terms and conditions, you are always welcome to contact our office via telephone to schedule your appointment.