Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cancer-Causing Mouthwash??

In a recent news article from the Australian Dental Journal, reasearchers stated that mouthwash containing alcohol increases the risk of developing oral cancer. In that report, it was suggested that mouthwash be made available by prescription only based on the idea that alcohol may increase the ability of cancer causing compounds to attack the lining of the mouth.

Arguing statements have been made by other researchers claiming that more research needs to be done before we can consider this a major problem.

Upon further research, I found a relating article from the Mayo Clinic:

Alcohol and tobacco are the two main risk factors for head and neck cancer. If you use one or the other, you have an increased risk. If you use both, your risk is even higher. Because many mouthwashes contain alcohol, concerns have been raised about whether the use of these mouthwashes may increase the risk of head and neck cancer. But there's no clear evidence that this is true. If you don't drink alcohol or use tobacco, your risk of head or neck cancer from using alcohol-based mouthwashes is likely very small. If you already use tobacco and alcohol, stop using tobacco and reduce the overall amount of alcohol you drink.

The full articles can be found here and here.

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