So Clean, So… Oral Cancer?

The Mouth

The Mouth

Okay, maybe we floss less than we would like to admit, and maybe we don’t brush our teeth three times a day religiously or even after every meal.  How do we make a short cut without sacrificing hygiene?  Mouthwash!  It leaves our breath so clean, our teeth so slick and smooth with one lick of our tounge, and a tingly feeling along our pallets.  Mm, and it even takes a man -some say- to endure gargling those with alcohol within its main ingredients.

How could something that helps us through our daily routine, be bad?  Let me tell you, I am shocked!  Two words will change your daily habits forever: oral cancer.

Dental experts reported January 12, 2009 in a report linking chemicals in antiseptic mouthwash leads to oral cancer.  More and more are dentists advising people against their previous suggestions, especially towards people with open wounds or sores.  What makes it worse, the main ingredient in many a popular mouthwash containing alcohol, was proved to increase the risks!

Liang-Jiunn Hahn Emeritus Professor

Liang-Jiunn Hahn (韓良俊) Emeritus Professor

Hahn Liang-jiunn (韓良俊), an oral and maxilofacial surgeon of National Taiwan University Hospital and Chairperson of the Department of Health’s Committee on Dental Medicine regrets advising long time patients to use mouthwash regularly, before the recent news changed his life and career.  According to Hahn, the harmful chemicals in alcohol accumulate in oral cavities when it comes in contact with the lining of the mouth, increasing the chances of developing cancer.

Lets review the benefits we were taught of using an antiseptic mouthwash…

Listerine as a remedy...

Listerine as a remedy... A poster-ad from 1932.

Accoding to Lambert Pharmacal Co., St. Louis, Missouri, the benefits include:

1.)      prevent colds by twice-a-day(result of 66%) as an aid in preventing colds and reducing their severity and duration.  Colds were recorded to be 25% less severe and had from 50% to 66% fewer colds reported.

2.)      remedy for toenail fungus

3.)      repels mosquitoes

4.)      eases nasty skin conditions

5.)      prevents dandruff

6.)      relieves dog’s hot-spots

7.)       heals facial blemishes

Popular mouthwash

Popular mouthwash

Does everyone know the steps to gargle mouthwash?  Do you know that there’s the possibility of “Moutwash Overdose“??  How is it deadly – what leads to overdose or dreadful, oral cancer?  View the back of your antiseptic mouthwash bottle.  Look for the following ingredients:  Ethanol (ethyl alcohol), Methyl Salicylate, Chlorhexidine Gluconate, Hydrogen Peroxide.  These are your four answers.

Symptoms to overdose?  They include Collapse, Excessive sweating, Decreased urine output, Low blood sugar, difference in breathing pattern, Diarrhea, Dizzinessonly to name a few.  With any questions or concerns, or if you may believe to fall under these symptoms, call The (U.S.) National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222).

“Long-term use of mouthwash is no better than using regular water,” said Huang Yi-Haw (黃怡豪), dentist of the Tri-Service General Hospital, “Especially if the mouthwash contains alcohol, it will irritate wounds.”

How To Maintain Healthy Teeth

How To Maintain Healthy Teeth

Huang adds advices that brushing and flossing one’s teeth was more effective, the proper use of this daily routine is one the mouthwash and toothpaste cannot replace.  Most of us have heard before: flossing prolongs your life, but do we know how flossing correlates to longevity?  Wouldn’t you like to gain “6.4 YEARS” to your life?

In a book, “Real Age” by Michael F. Roizen MD., “”Flossing your teeth daily can make your arteries younger.  The probable reason:  Flossing helps keep your immune system young… the same bacteria that cause periodontal disease also trigger an immune response, inflammation, that causes the arteries to swell.  The swelling of the arterial walls results in a constriction of blood flow that can lead to a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease.  Other studies have shown that periodontal disease leads to a higher white blood cell count, which is an indicator that the immune system is under increased stress….  Poor oral hygiene and particularly increased tooth loss are important indicators of your risk.  The fewer teeth you have, the greater your risk of gum infections.”

How To Porperly Floss Your Teeth

How To Porperly Floss Your Teeth

How many of us are skeptic and question this new finding?    Or maybe you are used to the habit and convenience it brings to use a mouthwash?

According to the American Dental Association in wisegeek.com post, “in most cases an antiseptic mouthwash is primarily cosmetic, unless it is prescribed by a dentist, meaning that the formula will be stronger and more effective. Mouthwashes and rinses can actually cover up smells which might indicate dental problems which need to be addressed.  For this reason, dentists stress that regular dental care, including checkups, is very important.

You may be right, if you are skeptic to believe, because Professor Laurence Walsh, head of the School of Dentistry at the University of Queensland defended that there is no link between the two.   However in an article published from the Dental Journal of Australia concludes there is now “sufficient evidence” that “alcohol-containing mouthwashes contribute to the increased risks.  Confusing as to which to believe, isn’t it?

Professor Walsh criticized authors of the new findings in the paper for concluding such results from a “small and selective group of studies.”

“A wide range of critical and systematic reviews over many years have failed to show any statistically significant association between mouthwash use and oral cancer.  There is certainly nothing in the current paper to change our thinking in that regard.”

Here’s an article, “Experts divided over mouthwash cancer claims.”

Question is, what do we believe?  The advice dentists have lead us to for so many years…  Or, a drastic new finding that may risk our health, based on closed, individual studies of a small group?  If with substantial evidence, how long will it take and will it be too late by then?

Either way, listen to your mother: brush, brush and brush your teeth!

Mother says!

Mother says!

OR… Would you rather kiss to promote good oral health?

“Kissing is nature’s cleansing process,” says Heidi Hausauer, a dentist and spokeswoman for the academy. “Saliva washes out the mouth and helps remove the cavity-causing food particles that accumulate after meals.”

Muscular diagram in kissing

Muscular diagram in kissing

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~ by Lan on 2008 WedUTC2009-01-14T08:59:39+00:00. 15.

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