Ingredient in Oral Products Linked To Precancerous Lesions

1/15/2001 Ohio Nancy Volkers InteliHealth News Service New information suggests that an ingredient still found in some dental products can increase the risk of potentially cancerous lesions. A study by researchers at Ohio State University found that people who used an older formulation of Viadent products (toothpaste and/or mouth rinse) were, on average, nearly 10 times more likely to develop the lesions - known as oral leukoplakia - than people who had never used the products. Sanguinarine, an antibacterial agent that comes from Sanguinaria canadensis, or bloodroot, was once a key ingredient in Viadent products but has been removed. The products are produced by Colgate-Palmolive. "The sanguinarine was the only thing we could identify that made [the Viadent products] unique," said Carl M. Allen, professor of oral pathology and dentistry at Ohio State University, who conducted the study with two colleagues. The researchers examined 148 people diagnosed with leukoplakia lesions in 1997 and 1998, and compared them with 148 people who did not have leukoplakia. Each patient was asked about tobacco use, alcohol use and the use of Viadent products. Tobacco and alcohol use both are linked to the development of leukoplakia, which can lead to oral cancer. The study showed that people who had used Viadent products were 9.7 times more likely to have been diagnosed with leukoplakia than with people who had not used the products. People who used the Viadent products several times each day were more likely than those who used it less frequently to be [...]