A study on the oral mucosa by Moharamzadeh in 2009 concluded that alcohol-containing mouth rinses do not cause significant cytotoxic damage.1

More recently, Koschier et al. investigated the influence of ethanol and ethanol-containing mouth rinses on model chemical permeability in an in vitro oral buccal mucosal construct. The mucosa was exposed to the mouth rinse or control for 30 seconds followed by a 10 hour non-treatment phase. The mucosa was then exposed for a second 30 second period, and then the oral permeability was assessed (using a standard caffeine flux model).2



The study showed that:2

  • Pre-treatment of an oral mucosal construct with 26.9% ethanol or LISTERINE® under conditions modelling a typical rinsing had no effect on mucosal permeability
  • These treatments had no adverse effects on buccal cell viability and tissue histology


  1. Moharamzadeh K et al. Biologic assessment of antiseptic mouthwashes using a three dimensional human oral mucosal model. J Periodontol 2009; 80: 769–775.
  2. Koschier F et al. In vitro effects of ethanol and mouthrinse on permeability in an oral buccal mucosal tissue construct. Food Chem Toxicol 2011; 49: 2524–2529.