Monday, July 09, 2012

Mouthwash NOT Linked to Oral Cancer Risk

Listerine, a common mouthwash

According to a new study.

The medical and scientific communities have been debating the potential relationship between mouthwash and oral cancer for decades. Now a new meta-analysis has found no statistically significant association between mouthwash use and risk of oral cancer (Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, June 27, 2012, Vol. 19:2, pp. 173-180).

Researchers from the European Institute of Oncology, the International Prevention Research Research Institute, and the Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri conducted a quantitative meta-analysis of epidemiological studies of mouthwash and oral cancer and, specifically, mouthwash containing more than 25% alcohol.

"The potential association between use of mouthwash and an increased risk of oral cancer has been a source of controversy for several decades," the researchers wrote. "In recent times, attention has focused on a role for those mouthwashes containing alcohol on impacting the risk of oral cancer."

Good news and I cannot say that I don't use an alcohol containing mouthwash once in a while. I, also, use the non-alcohol containing ones as well.

While you probably do not need these products (for routine dental hygiene), they do make your mouth feel fresher.

But, there was a caveat in the study:

While this quantitative analysis of mouthwash use and oral malignancy revealed no statistically significant associations, the researchers noted, "there is a need to undertake studies in which more attention is given to the investigation of the effect of mouthwash use at different points throughout the life of subjects with a focus on the reasons for using mouthwash and the particular types of mouthwash used."

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