Mouthwash Ingredients – Why you should avoid those containing CPC

Mourthwash Ingredients Dr. Larry Stone

I’ve known for some time that sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a detergent found in many toothpastes can contribute to apthous ulcers – those small annoying ulcerations in our mouths that mysteriously affect many of us. What I didn’t know until recently was that cetyl pyridinium chloride (CPC), the active ingredient in many mouthwashes, i.e. Crest Pro Health, Colgate Total, BreathRx, Scope, Cepacol and Viadent, can interact with SLS to cause staining and sloughing of the buccal mucosa (the inner lining of the cheeks).

Patients often complain of staining and are often at a loss as to why this occurs. Here is just another potential contributing factor in addition to smoking, coffee, tea, etc.

As it happens, Listerine is one of the few mouth rinses that does not contain CPC as one of its mouthwash ingredients, but rather relies on essential oils such as thymol, wintergreen, peppermint and menthol to kill the bacterial plaque responsible for gingivitis.

So now you know! Any questions? Don’t hesitate to contact me or the office, Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA, today to schedule your next appointment and we can talk more about this. See you soon!