Tobacco, alcohol and the betel nut — all are known risk factors for oral cancer.

Could excessive use of mouthwash containing alcohol also increase your risk?

Recent scientific findings raised concern and a report by addressed the issue via an interview with Bhuvanesh Singh, a head and neck cancer surgeon at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The expert shared insight on what he titled “soft factors,” such as poor oral hygiene and the aforementioned mouthwash, which he said may be contributing, but at levels “difficult to define.”

Singh told, “I tell my oral cancer patients to not use alcohol-containing mouthwashes — the alcohol is probably the main carcinogen to worry about. But I don’t tell them not to use mouthwash at all. There is no known harm to non-alcohol-containing mouthwashes.”

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And should you decide to switch to an alcohol-free variety, don’t pour your unused sugar-free mouthwash down the drain. offers seven extraordinary uses for the household product, including disinfecting a cut, treating athlete’s foot and cleaning your toilet.

Investigate the other four uses at: