I was interviewed for an article on mouthwashes that appeared in Newsday on May 8. (See http://www.newsday.com/news/health/mouthwash-safe-supplements-brushing-1.2861690.) I spoke to the reporter for an hour and gave him what I thought was a lot of good material on mouthwashes. He asked about the controversy over alcohol in mouthwashes. I explained that there have been several studies over the past few years but none have shown that alcohol in mouthwash can cause oral cancer. Despite people’s fears, the evidence just isn’t there. We discussed fluoride in mouthwash – fluoride protects against tooth decay but has not been shown to reduce plaque or gum disease. I explained the difference between over-the-counter mouthwashes that may be merely cosmetic and prescription mouthwashes that can reduce plaque and gingivitis. I talked about the importance of the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of approval.
But little of this got into the article. All that was attributed to me was one quote to the effect that halitosis (bad breath) may be caused by a systemic problem and covering it up with mouthwash may not solve the problem. Was I disappointed!