A recent analysis found no association between mouth rinse use and oral cancer. This 2012 independent quantitative meta-analysis identified 46 citations in the literature. Twelve of these met the inclusion criteria so were included in the analysis. These were all published between 1983–2010, and were from Europe, Latin America and the USA.1

No significant association was found between mouth rinse use and oral cancer (summary risk reduction = 1.13 [95% CI 0.95–1.35]).1

Forest plot for regular mouth rinse use and oral cancer1



Adapted from Gandini et al. 2012. PY = publication year, MW = mouth rinse, SRR = summary relative risk.

The study also tested for an association between mouth rinse specifically containing alcohol and oral cancer risk, and no association was found. There was also no significant trend in risk with increasing daily use, i.e. there was no statistically significant dose response relationship between cancer incidence and mouth rinse use.1

This concludes our series of articles on oral cancer. But you may also like to read about why LISTERINE® does not adversely affect pH, the oral flora or the oral mucosa.


  1. Gandini S et al. Mouthwash and oral cancer risk – quantitative meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies. Ann Agric Environ Med 2012; 19(2): 173–180.