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Pam, Health Care Professional
Category: Health
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Experience:  Emergency Response Team, Dental Hygienist, Scientist, Researcher
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What happens when you drink mouthwash

Resolved Question:

My uncle has been drinking Dr. Tichenor's and Listerine mouthwash to get "high". What are the side effects of it and what does it to your body when it is ingested?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Pam replied 8 years ago.
Listerine can cause gastrointestinal problems when ingested. It contains a high level of ethanol (alcohol) but is not made to be ingested. Usually the only people you hear about drinking Listerine to get "high" are those who are alcoholics and are trying to drink without anyone knowing about it. Listerine is expensive so he is certainly not choosing it for economic reasons.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you. Can it destroy the digestive system or cause other problems if large amounts are swallowed?
Expert:  Pam replied 8 years ago.
Any alcohol can cause problems with the liver and other digestive problems. It is 23% - 26% alcohol which makes it 46 - 50 proof. It is certainly not good for you and it not recommended for drinking. If he is drinking it to fool himself into thinking it is not as bad as drinking regular drinking alcohol, he is wrong. If he is trying to stop drinking, that should include Listerine. He should only purchase mouthwash that contains no alcohol. Crest Pro Health is a good example of a non alcohol mouth wash.
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