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Foul breath is the most common issue people have to deal with. There can be many reasons for bad odor; luckily, mouthwash can easily eradicate it. Read on to know what happens if you swallow a mouthwash accidentally!

What happens if you swallow mouthwash?

A mouthwash is advised to be used in minimal amounts. If you swallow a little while swishing by any chance, there is no need to panic just yet.
Do not expect much to happen. A mouthwash often has fluoride as an ingredient known to upset the stomach if swallowed. You may experience nothing apart from nausea or diarrhea. This, too, shall last for not more than two to three days max.
However, if you happen to swallow a large portion of mouthwash, then symptoms like dizziness, breathing problems, drowsiness along with nausea, and diarrhea can appear.
In severe cases, the person may have convulsions too! In such situations, it is best to call for emergency help.

What to do if a child happens to swallow mouthwash?

Children are at a greater risk of engulfing mouthwash. Their body is smaller in size, and a much lesser volume could result in fatality. If you ever face such a situation, call the poison control center immediately.

What to do if an adult swallows mouthwash?

As compared to children, adults need a fair larger dose of mouthwash to go into panic mode. In case of accidental swallowing of mouthwash, it is best to first monitor yourself.
A word of caution, no matter what, do not try to make yourself vomit. Call for help if you feel your heart rate is increasing rapidly or facing difficulty in breathing.

Treatment options

Your doctor will follow one of these protocols for the treatment. The course of action depends on your condition.

  • IV fluid drip
  • laxatives to flush out and clean the stomach
  • activated charcoal to absorb the chemicals in mouthwash swallowed
  • breathing support

Can mouthwash be lethal?

Death by swallowing mouthwash accidentally is more common in children than adults. Toxicity is associated with the presence of the ingredient ethanol in it. In some mouthwashes, ethanol content as high as 27% is present. Fatality in adults is rare but can occur if engulfed deliberately.

Dangers of deliberately drinking small amounts of mouthwash

The alcohol present in mouthwashes is modified to make them bad in taste. Still, many people try swallowing it to get high.
What they don’t know is that it can harm the body’s acid-base balance.
Some of the complications include:

  • organ failure
  • loss of vision (going blind)
  • coma
  • alcohol poisoning
  • cardiac arrest
  • respiratory effect

If you or your child have happened to swallow mouthwash accidentally, you can contact Internal Medicine and Diagnostic Centre in Houston or Magnolia. Call now at 281-252-8600 for help.

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