Alcohol in Mouthwash

Dr. Ellie,

I’ve been using your system for a couple of months.

I ran across an article in the Australian Dental Review that advises against long-term use of an alcohol containing mouthwash due to an increased risk of oral cancers. Here’s the link:

I’d certainly be interested in your comments!

Atherton, California

Hi S,

I would be happy to give you my comments about Listerine.

Listerine was developed in the early 1900s and has been regularly used by millions of people all around the world. The main ingredients in Listerine are Eucalyptus, menthol and thymol three essential oils dissolved in alcohol so as to make them work.

The important fact is that regular use does not create a resistant strain of mouth bacteria and Listerine does a superb job of cleaning away immature plaque bacteria that can grow and form plaque on teeth.

There have been many tests, trials and studies with Listerine over the years and nothing negative has ever been reported until this Australian study. To understand a little more about this study: there is a native Australian plant that some company wants to use as a competitive mouth rinse to Listerine. I think this study caused people concern but personally this is the only study I have ever seen that came out negative and perhaps they had a motive ?

The other fact was this study tested the rinse on cells in the laboratory not in the mouth.
Laboratory results do not necessarily match the results you get when you use live tissue particularly skin cells.

I continue to use Listerine and recommend it with great confidence. On the other hand, I always suggest you rinse the Listerine off your teeth with ACT never leave it on your teeth because it is too acidic ( a pH of 4.2). I recommend that the Listerine is rinsed off with ACT. ACT works most effectively in an acidic environment and so the Listerine sets the stage for the ACT to strengthen and beautify teeth.

Hope this answers your question.
My book has more detail about the various mouth rinses and how the biochemistry of them interrelates.

Thanks for your interest,

26 Corporate Woods
Rochester, NY 14623

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