Dentist Sandy Springs: Mouthwash and Oral Cancer

Sandy Springs Dentist near me
Michael Douglas had throat cancer

There appears to be controversy with respect to whether or not mouthwash containing alcohol may be related to oral cancer.  This controversy arises out the studies that show a link between oral cancer and those that drink alcohol.  Michael Douglas is the most recent case in point.  He has been reported to be a
heavy smoker and imbibe alcohol on what is rumored to be on frequent occasions.  The obvious link in theory is that most mouthwash formulas contain alcohol, so the conclusion is that a link to mouthwash must exist here also.  The problem is there are no conclusive studies and at this time there appears to be insufficient evidence to alter the ADA’s approval of mouthwash containing  alcohol as an effective method for the prevention and reduction of gingivitis
and plaque above the gumline when used as directed.  The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs awarded  the ADA Seal of Acceptance to these products after a thorough review of data on  their safety and effectiveness.

Of all the studies published on this topic, beginning in 1979,  four studies reported some positive results while five found no association. (citations omitted)  What we know is that  none of the criteria for causality have been fulfilled by the studies that have  been published so far.  The International Agency for Research on Cancer, an extension of the World Health Organization, now identifies the consumption of ethanol in alcoholic beverages as a carcinogenic risk.[1]  Alcohol abuse is associated with cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx and  esophagus. Ibid.  However, the reason for this association is  not fully understood – it may be due to a direct effect of alcohol on these  tissue.[2]  Because of the conflicting studies and  endorsements We could advise you  to keep using alcohol formulated mouth rinses.  But if you are concerned and wish to stay on the safe side of the  debate, there are non-alcohol based mouth rinses available that appear to be  effective in the prevention of gingivitis and plaque.

Our job is to try and educate you on the contemporary issues we face in addressing your oral  health and if there are any questions you would like to pose, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation. We offer free oral cancer screenings during the month of April.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD

Hanna Orland, DMD

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328



[1] International
Agency for Research on Cancer. IARC monographs on the evaluation of
carcinogenic risks to humans. Volume 96. Alcoholic beverage consumption and
ethyl carbamate (urethane). Lyon, France: 6-13 February 2007.

[2] Lachenmeier
DW. Safety evaluation of topical applications of ethanol on the skin and inside
the oral cavity. J Occup Med Toxicol 2008;3:26.