Mouthwash Has Health Risks

March 8, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. hygiene /ˈhaɪdʒin/ (n.) – a habit or practice to maintain cleanliness and health
Example: Healthy kids follow proper hygiene.

2. gargle /ˈgɑrgəl/ (v.) – to take liquid in the mouth and spit it later
Example: The patient gargled water after the dental procedure.

3. eliminate /ɪˈlɪməˌneɪt/ (v.) – to completely remove something
Example: The daily use of mouthwash can help eliminate bad breath.

4. concentrated /ˈkɒnsənˌtreɪtɪd/ (adj.) – close to being pure, usually liquid
Example: Skin products with less concentrated alcohol are better for the skin.

5. temporary /ˈtɛmpəˌrɛri/ (adj.) – will happen for only a short time
Example: Mint candy is a temporary solution for bad breath.


Read the text below.
Researchers from London suggest that using a specific brand of mouthwash can lead to heart attack and stroke.

Professor Amrita Ahluwalia [am-REE-ta ah-loo-WAL-ya] and her co-researchers from Queen Mary University concluded in their study that the brand Corsodyl [KOHR-so-dil] can increase one’s blood pressure. They   gathered 19 volunteers who follow a routine for good hygiene. The participants used Corsodyl twice every day. The results surprised Ahluwalia as the blood pressure of the users rose few hours after gargling.

Results show that the volunteers’ blood pressure increased by 2 to 3.5 units within one day. According to a separate study, a two-point rise in blood pressure can increase the risk of heart disease by seven percent and stroke by ten percent. These illnesses are among the top causes of death in Britain.

While mouthwashes are helpful for one’s oral health, a powerful antiseptic mouthwash like Corsodyl can also eliminate good bacteria that help in proper blood flow. Ahluwalia believes that antiseptic mouthwashes should only be for people with dental problems. People with healthy mouths should use brands with less concentrated ingredients.

Corsodyl’s key ingredient chlorhexidine [klor-HEK-si-din] causes these harmful effects in the body. Other mouthwash brands include the same ingredient for their products. However, some brands like Listerine [listerin] do not include chlorhexidine.

In response to the findings, the manufacturer of Corsodyl clarified that its product was made for temporary use and clinical treatment. The brand offers Corsodyl Daily, which has less concentration and is designed for everyday use. A dentist also said that Ahluwalia should be cautious in coming up with a conclusion from such a small study.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·          Why do you think many people use strong mouthwash even if unnecessary?
·          Is there any harm in being too hygienic? Please explain.

Discussion B

·         How can people avoid the harmful effects of some chemicals in the products they use?
·         Would you recommend the use of all-natural products? Why or why not?


March 8, 2014