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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