I encountered this claim (here):

Listerine (and related mouth washes) probably do not eliminate bad breath. Although it may be effective at first, in the long term it generally increases bad breath by drying out the mouth and inhibiting the salivary glands. This may also increase the population of dental bacteria. Most top dentists recommend avoiding mouth wash or using it very sparingly.

The claim is given in context with seven other claims, and we are told that four of them are true.

I use mouthwash occasionally, and I would use it more regularly if I were more confident it didn't have negative health consequences. Is this claim true?

1 Answer 1


The statement quoted is actually contained under the heading:

4.2: Is this really true? Surely people would investigate the safety, ethics, and efficacy of the products they buy.
So this statement is not necessarily true or false; it is just one of the many statements in this heading that may or may not be so.

As to whether or not mouthwash may be effective, this article in DetistryIQ has this to say about Listerine:
"These findings support the benefit of adding an antiseptic mouthwash to a daily oral health care routine, especially for those patients who don't brush and floss properly," ..."The findings, however, do not mean that flossing should be replaced with rinsing. I recommend that dentists and hygienists talk to their patients about what's best for their oral healthcare routine, and devise strategies to target difficult to reach areas that are susceptible to plaque accumulation and gingivitis."

The ADA in this article also says:
While not a replacement for daily brushing and flossing, use of mouthwash (also called mouthrinse) may be a helpful addition to the daily oral hygiene routine for some people.
It also has some good information in it.

I could not find any reputable articles that made the claim in the OP's citation.

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