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What happens if you drink mouthwash?

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Quick Answer

Mouthwash is alcoholic and toxic, and drinking it can cause intoxication, permanent damage to the body and death. Mouthwash contains denatured and/or methyl alcohol, which are poisonous and not meant to be consumed. According to Alcohol Rehab Advice, these types of alcohol cause blindness; gastrointestinal problems; vomiting and diarrhea; organ damage; and total organ system failure. Large quantities of these alcohols carry the same intoxicant risks as potable alcohol.

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Full Answer

The alcoholic components in mouthwash are the most dangerous, and Cathleen Terhune Alty for RDH points out that mouthwash contains much higher volumes of alcohol than beer, wine and spirits, making it easier to overdose on it than liquor. The higher alcohol content also causes burns in the mouth and throat and can lead to irreversible damage, says Alcoholism Treatment California.

Mouthwash also contains other chemicals like chlorhexidine gluconate, hydrogen peroxide and eucalyptus. When consumed, MedlinePlus says that these ingredients cause pain; low blood pressure and sugar; rapid heart rate and breathing; reflex problems; unconsciousness; and even coma. Like all alcoholic products, mouthwash also causes drowsiness and dizziness, nausea and impaired motor function. Drinking mouthwash is dangerous as it contains alcohol that is addictive. If you or someone you know has swallowed mouthwash, consider seeking professional medical help or calling poison control.

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