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Is it Safe to Use Alcohol in Mouthwash?

The safety of  alcohol in mouthwash has been debated recently.  Some experts are concerned that alcohol in mouthwash causes oral cancer.

While these concerns have prompted studies none have been able to  show a correlation.

alcohol in mouthwash

But caution should still be used and the recommended frequency of use should never be exceeded.  

You really do have to brush your teeth, but using mouthwash is optional.  

It's just one of many ways to improve your dental health.

The most popular mouthwash with alcohol is Listerine.

I recommend Listerine when needed because it has been shown to improve gingivitis and gum disease.

But, it is too strong for some and should not be overused by anyone.

The alcohol and essential oils give it a strong flavor to say the least.  So strong that it burns and takes a lot of getting used to and possibly some diluting with water.  

Possible side effects

The alcohol in Listerine mouthwash can dry your mouth,  alter sense of taste, and cause tissue sloughing.

Tissue sloughing is like peeling.  When sloughing occurs tissue rolls off the cheek in white stringy pieces.  

Some who have this reaction notice a film on their tissue after using a product followed by tissue peeling off the inside of their cheeks.  

The tissue may have a rough texture that looks irritated. 

With all the possible down side, you may be wondering why anyone would use it?

Two reasons...

The side effects are rare when used as directed.  And it works.

If you notice these or any other side effects after using Listerine or any mouthwash with alcohol, stop using it for a few days to make sure your reaction is being caused by the  mouthwash.  

Then switch to another product,  decrease the frequency of use or dilute with water. 

Try another method

Mouthwash is not necessary to maintain good dental health.  There are other ways.   Marketing of these products may have made you believe it is essential but it really is optional.

Mouthwash helps certain dental scenarios but should not be relied upon to be the entire solution.

If mouthwash doesn't work for you, consider one of these popular and effective products.


Electric Toothbrush

Dental Floss

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