HYDERABAD: Excessive use of mouthwash or mouth rinses may lead to genetic toxicity, causing severe health issues, warn researchers. Calling for judicious use of cosmetic and therapeutic mouth rinse, the researchers said overuse of chemical mouthwash may damage the inner lining of the mouth (buccal cavity) as the chemicals used are known for their genotoxicity (genetic poisoning) and they may result in genetic damage to the delicate cells.
A multi-state researchers team including those from department of oral pathology and microbiology, Mamata Dental College, Khammam, evaluated genotoxicity of non-alcoholic mouth rinses. They studied the damage caused to the nucleus of epithelial tissue in the mouth. The result was published in Journal of Investigative Clinical Dentistry.
Genotoxicity results in damage to genetic information in cells, leading to mutations and in few cases may end in Cancer. As part of research, the participants were given four different types of mouth rinses and normal saline for two weeks. Smears were collected from the mouth before and after exposure to the mouth rinse. The researchers then carried out tests for micronucleus and other nuclear abnormalities and results showed genotoxic damage in all types of mouth rinses used. The extent of damage varied from chemical to chemical present in the mouthwash. The damage was least in case of normal saline. “Chronic exposure to mouth rinses can cause genotoxic damage to buccal epithelial cells. Longterm injudicious use of mouth rinses should be discouraged,” the study warned.
Some active ingredients in mouth rinses are cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine, essential oils, fluoride and peroxide. Children below six should not use mouth rinses, warned researchers.