Mouthwash & Oral Cancer Link

by Joe Bulger DDS

Attention Mouthwash Users:

If you or anyone you know relies on alcohol-based mouthwash for fresh breath, you may be taking a huge risk.

link between mouthwash and cancer Is mouthwash linked to oral cancer?

Reports have suggested a strong link between alcohol-based mouthwash and oral-throat cancer.

It’s a controversial subject, yet so few people know about it. Alarmingly, many people continue buying alcohol-based mouthwash in large quantities because as a society, we’re obsessed about fresh breath.

I’m going to reveal why mouthwashes can be hazardous to your health.

Some reports indicate there isn’t clear proof that supports a DIRECT link between alcohol-based mouthwashes and oral cancer as well as throat cancer.

No surprise there, because the link isn’t direct.

Hidden Truth Revealed…

You only hear what they want you to hear.

The mouthwash industry is such a huge money-maker. Do you think for a moment the big manufacturers would come clean if they found a clear link between mouthwash and cancer? No. They know exactly how to keep blowing smoke to hide issues that might compromise the steady flow of cash into their coffers.

They also know exactly how to maintain the noise of scientific study after study to support the benefit of alcohol-based mouthwash – that it kills the bacteria that causes bad breath.

You’ll continue seeing studies that prove how effective alcohol-based mouthwash is at killing bacteria. You won’t see anything on how harmful or counter-productive it can be. An unfavorable truth like that could hurt their bottom line, so they’ll make every effort to bury it under a stack of studies and statistics that support their product.

Here’s a dirty little secret. There’s NO money in whistle-blowing studies that would grind a gravy train industry to a halt. The real money is in studies that continue supporting a profitable business.

In the end, you only hear what they want you to hear.

Does Mouthwash CAUSE cancer? That’s not the right question. The industry prefers that question because it’s easier to dismiss it with a statement saying there’s no clear evidence to support that. It’s not a direct link, so they can quickly diffuse any public concern any time the issue pops up.

The BETTER question you need to ask is whether use of alcohol-based mouthwash leads to increased RISK of oral cancer and throat cancer.

There’s clear evidence to support that it does.

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How Mouthwash Increases Risk of  Oral-Throat Cancer

Your mouth is a very hostile place – full of nasty bugs and noxious irritants.

Here’s the thing. Alcohol-based mouthwashes don’t cause cancer directly. The manufacturers will use that fact to distract you from the REAL issue.

Here’s what they don’t want you to know… Rinsing with the mouthwash will render areas of your mouth and throat wide open to attack from cancer-causing agents.

Let me explain something about your mouth. Your mouth is lined with two main types of salivary glands – mucous and serous. The mucous glands produce an effective surface barrier that protects the vulnerable tissues of your mouth. Think of it as a mucous shield. The serous is the watery stuff that aids in digestion but is not effective as a protective barrier.

Your mouth is a very hostile place – full of nasty bugs and noxious irritants. Without this mucous shield to protect you, the soft tissues of your mouth and throat would be left vulnerable.

Alcohol rinses DESTROY that mucous shield. The protective layer is dissolved away and the tissue surfaces of your mouth and throat are left unprotected and permeable to toxic irritants.

THAT’S the connection of mouthwash to oral cancer and throat cancer.

Stay tuned for Can Mouthwash Backfire on You?

Signature for a Toronto Cosmetic Dentist.

Dr. Joe :)

Dr. Joe Bulger

About the Author: is a West Toronto dentist. He’s also the owner-founder of Royal York Dental – a respected dental clinic serving Etobicoke since 1950.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 john conner September 3, 2010 at 5:35 pm

When you keep your mouth healthy, you’re also keeping your body healthy. That’s why it’s important to stay on track with good oral care needs. Take advantage of your two visits per year, it’s so important for your overall health.


2 Toronto-Etobicoke Dentist - Joe Bulger September 3, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Great advice John. So many people wait for a problem before they respond to a dentist. So many rely on things like mouthwash, that can do more harm than good.

Joe 😀


3 Oral Care September 3, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Oral Hygiene is a home dental care kit that guards against plaque without brushing. Oral Care


4 roxyd32 September 9, 2010 at 8:53 pm

This is an awesome post. My father will definitely benefit from reading this. One of the leading mouthwashes sold in stores is his “joie de vie”. He swears that it helps, and will find himself gargling for 5 minutes on average daily, (or before seeing clients). I will be sure to share this info with him – it will save his mucous shield and his life!! :)


5 Toronto-Etobicoke Dentist - Joe Bulger September 16, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Roxy, I hope your father wakes up to this threat.

Maybe he’s thinking “It must be safe, otherwise they wouldn’t sell it.” Here’s the scoop. The big manufacturers aren’t making any new mouthwash products with alcohol because they know the dark truths. Yet they sure as heck won’t abandon those old products because they’re established brands and big cash cows.

I was just talking with a patient yesterday and we had been trying to figure out why she had so much acid damage on her teeth. I asked her the new magic question, “Do you use any alcohol-based mouthwashes?” Lo and behold she did. She even had this morning routine of using the mouthwash and then taking some chewable vitamin C afterward. She had done a lot of serious damage to her teeth.

Joe 😀


6 Felicia @ No Deposit Poker September 16, 2010 at 9:42 am

Hi Dr. Joe,
Thanks for sharing us this informative article about the bad effects of alcohol mouthwash on us. It’s true that there are companies which offer their products without telling you everything you need to know about their items. “You only hear what they want you to hear.” – This is so very true. They say alcohol mouthwash is good for everybody’s health, but in the end, serious problems occur due to overuse and the belief that what the customers were doing was for their own good.


7 Mike@Teeth Whitener Reviews November 1, 2010 at 8:11 pm

I think people should not use mouthwashes, because most of them are ineffective, I have been using them and with no success so far, besides my teeth started to hurt when I was using mouthwashes.

By the way, you have written really useful article about link between mouthwash and cancer, I didn’t know before about this link between them!


8 dudley June 16, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Never had an ulcer in my life before but got two from using a leading mouthwash brand. To be honest I always suspected something. My wife stills uses it so I have told her to at least dilute it.


9 Mark @ Foodpyramid June 14, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Ok, so It is better to not use mouthwash so often at least.


10 ladan March 30, 2014 at 3:35 am

It has been proven that alcohol is a harmful and cancer causing chemical. This kind of revelation maybe a shocking scenario to somebody concerning mouthwash users. I definitely agree with you that mouthwash products containing alcohol destroys mucous shield of the mouth, and can eventually cause cancer. I myself never recommend mouth wash that contains alcohol. But unfortunately as you said, the manufacturers hide this fact so well and people believe them. also people think because it has that burning sensation, that is what helps them with bad breath (psychologically). They don’t understand that it actually is just temporary and it actually makes the mouth dry and make the mouth odor worse. I wish there was a way to stop those manufacturers in producing such products. Thanks for your article.


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12 Prabu January 10, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Hi Doctor,

I was used mouthwash 2 times/day for 3 months,it damaged my mouth ,gums,mucos in the mouth.

Full issue details in :https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwuaM7QBQBPZT3VYc0lCd2ltNFE

I need your reply.

Mob & whatsapp: +91 9986834218


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