Suit filed over mouthwash side effects

By: Jeff Anderson Email
By: Jeff Anderson Email

News 12 at 6, June 5, 2008

EVANS---An Evans mother says a popular brand of mouthwash not only turned her teeth brown, but also took away her ability to taste certain foods.

And now she's part of a class-action lawsuit because she says there are others who have the same problem. The company says it is standing by its product.

Angela McElroy and her family recently made the switch to a new type of mouthwash, Crest's Pro Health.

It sounded great. There was no alcohol and it still did all the normal things like fighting plaque and bad breath. But it was what happened after using it that wasn't so normal.

"The bagel tasted plain. I went to McDonalds to get fries and went back through to ask for salt. I can't taste stuff." she said.

But it wasn't until her daughter said something, that it all made sense.

"When I ate pizza, it didn't taste good." Charlotte McElroy said.

"Charlotte said, 'I don't know why I got this. I can't taste anyway since I started using that stupid blue mouthwash.'" Angela said.

So Angela went online and found she and Charlotte weren't alone with their tasting problem. And did we mention the brown spots on the teeth? Other people have written into websites complaining of the same problems.

Some have pointed the finger of blame on the active ingredient, a long word, called CPC for short.

Angela eventually is in the process of filing a class-action suit against Crest's parent company, Proctor and Gamble. The company stands behind it's product.

A spokesperson says 99.9 percent of consumers have not reported any problems with it. And the stains could have come from something else like red wine or coffee. The taste problem? The company calls it a temporary taste adjustment. And it has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Despite that, Angela and her daughter are carrying on the fight because they say they don't want anyone else to experience what they have.

"It makes me confused. It says it helps you." Charlotte said.

"I don't want every time I use a mouthwash or toothpaste to worry I may lose my ability to taste salt." Angela said.

Proctor and Gamble did say the testimonials far outweigh the complaints and this product has been one of the most successful product launches in the company's history.


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  • by allyson hiliard Location: franklin,va on Mar 17, 2009 at 12:11 PM
    My experience from the product was a little different. I purchased this mouthwash on 3/14/09. I used it on 3/15/09 less than a hour my face and right side of my upper lip had swollen. As the evening went on it got bigger and bigger. I took a benadryl tabletand went to sleep.On Monday morning my left bottom lip and both eyes had also swollen. Using this mouth was the only thing i did differently.Today is Tuesday and my face is still swollen.They need to put some kind of warning on their label. If people are lodging so many complaints the company owes it to the public to let the consumer know of all possible side effects. I can't go out looking like this. I cancelled my appointments until this goes away. what do i from here?
  • by CBatten Location: Rochester, Ny on Dec 16, 2008 at 12:01 PM
    Thank God I found this! I've only been using this product for three days and I too noticed I couldn't taste salt! I also noticed a black spot on the inside of my cheek while flossing last night that hadnt been there the night before. I'm glad someone else has had the same reaction because cancer was the first thing that crossed my mind too. I'm going home and trashing this 'wash' asap! I hope I get my taste back :-(
  • by Jennifer Location: Augusta on Jun 6, 2008 at 11:24 AM
    My husband thought he had cancer - now we know the black spots were from the mouthwash!
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