How many times a day to you use your mouthwash? Are you among the millions of very busy people who, when pressed for time, will swish mouthwash around in their mouths in leiu of brushing between meals and snacks? Do you find yourself reaching for the bottle of mouthwash when you can’t get at your toothbrush or dental floss? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then please pay close attention to what follows. I recently read an article on oral cancer that actually strongly suggests that overusing your mouthwash could lead to oral cancer!
Wolfgang Ahrens, professor and deputy director of the Bremen Institute for Prevention Research and Social Medicine, did a study to see if there was a connection between using mouthwash more than three times a day, coupled with poor oral health and inrregular dental care leading to an elevated risk of oral cancer. Other researchers at the University of Glasgow Dental School wanted to delve into issues surrounding oral health, dental care and mouthwash as possible associations with mouth and throat cancer beyond the known risk factors. Ahrens and his colleagues recruited approximately 2,000 patients with mouth and throat cancers and an additional approximately 2,000 who did not to be used as comparison control subjects during their research investigation. They conducted this study in 13 centers over 9 countries and set out to find out if there were new risk factors to be included in the incidence of oral cancer in this cohort.
What They Found
The researchers took into account things like smoking, alcohol and socio-economic factors that are known causative factors for oral cancer. It has been firmly established that smoking and heavy alcohol consumption, especially when combined, are strongly linked to mouth and throat cancers. Even after taking all of this into consideration, Ahrens and his fellow researchers still found a link between poor oral health and the increased risk of mouth and throat cancers. They defined poor al oral health as those people who had complete or partial dentures and those with persistent bleeding gums. It was felt that the alcohol content of some mouthwashes lends to the increased risks as it as it has previously been determined that the alcohol content of some mouthwashes allows carcinogens to infiltrate the mouth lining which increases the cancer risk. The team found that by using mouthwash more than three times daily, you could be increasing your personal risk of oral cancer.
What you need to remember about all of this is simply to limit your personal mouthwash usage to no more than three times daily. Keeping up with regular dental checkups will also help to reduce your risks of oral cancers. See your Periodontist in Long Island for identification and treatment of any oral abnormalities for any member of your family. Call Dr. Scharf at (631)661-6633 or visit him on the web at http://drscharf.com and let him tell you how he can treat gum disease with a laser instead of a scalpel.