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About Listerine

Listerine is an antiseptic mouthwashes that are promoted with the tagline "Kills germs that cause bad breath". It's named in honor of Joseph Lister, who pioneered antiseptic surgery. It was created at the time of 1879 Joseph Lawrence, a chemist in St. Louis, Missouri. It was manufactured and sold via Johnson & Johnson since that company's acquisition by Pfizer of its consumer healthcare division in the year 2006. It is also available in the form of Listerine label is utilized in chewable toothpaste, tablets, and self-dissolving strips for teeth-whitening.


In the product overview according to the product overview, the ingredients in Listerine Total Care are as following sodium fluoride (0.02 percent) Water, sorbitol, sodium fluoride alcohol (21.6 21.6 %) poloxamer 407 sodium saccharin, flavor eucalyptol, methyl salticylate, thymol, phosphoric acid disodium phosphate, menthol, sucralose, red 40 and blue 1. Similar ingredients is found in different versions of Listerine and also lists most essential oils in their active components.


Listerine is a mixture of ingredients with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. The ethanol present in Listerine assists in the dissolving of the active ingredients, making them more efficient. Listerine also has a food preservative known as ethyl lauroyl arginate (LAE) that has been proven to be efficient in reducing plaque on teeth and gingivitis.


Misuse of Alcohol

The combination of essential oils with alcohol results in a product that is inedible, also known as denatured alcohol. Denatured alcohol isn't controlled as an alcohol beverage on the mainland of the United States; however, the use of mouthwash for alcohol is common, particularly in the case of underage drinkers and alcoholics.

Cancer risk

There is a worry that the use alcohol-based mouthwashes like Listerine could increase the risk for developing cancer. In 2010 seven meta-analyses have concluded that there is no link between alcohol-containing mouthwashes and cancer. However, three of them have identified higher risk. The study was published in January 2009. Andrew Penman, chief executive of The Cancer Council New South Wales called for further investigation into the issue. In a briefing in March 2009 in which the American Dental Association said "the available evidence does not support a connection between oral cancer and alcohol-containing mouthrinse". The year 2009 saw Johnson and Johnson launched an alcohol-free version of the product dubbed Listerine Zero.

A systematic review from 2020 examined the controversial issue of alcohol-related oral cancer (or oropharynx and other neck and head cancers) in which it was found that, for instance "this risk from alcohol consumption increases ten times in heavy drinkers compared to abstainers or irregular drinkers"

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