Monday, March 16, 2009

Listerine: Use with Caution

My husband told me the most disturbing thing this morning that left me with a minty taste in my mouth. (Get it? Minty...instead of sour...anyway). He told me that he read an article about how overuse of Listerine may destroy tissue in your mouth and leave you with perpetual bad breath--the very thing that Listerine is supposed to help with. I asked him how much is overuse, and he wasn't sure. I use Listerine as directed--twice every day. But now I am afraid that that is even too much. My husband and I started using Listerine regularly last year. So naturally after hearing the news from my husband, I had to look it up. And note that he told me this immediately after I finished rinsing with Listerine. Nice...

It's true that overuse, meaning rinsing from 5 to 10 times per day, can cause a lot of problems. That's true with overusing anything. But what I found was pretty disgusting. Like most mouthwashes, Listerine has high levels of alcohol (around 26%), which is a desiccant or actually dries out tissue. This can cause your bad breath to worsen. Also, I read somewhere that Listerine can cause thrush, which is or like yeast infection in your mouth! Yuck!

Also, mouthwashes (not just overuse) can cause loss of taste and teeth staining. Wil and I noticed that, after we used Crest Pro-Health Rinse, which contains no alcohol, that our taste is altered or numbed. Now, I notice that effect when I use Listerine as well. Also, I read in a few places that Crest Pro-Health Rinse causes people's teeth to turn brown, especially in the gaps. See reviews on So be forewarned! I am going to stop using Crest Pro-Health altogether and limit my use of Listerine to once a day. I am so freaked out!

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