Is Swallowing Mouthwash An Emergency?

Is your bad breath making you shy away from talking to people? Well, this issue is more common than you think, especially in children. Bad breath is a common issue children have to deal with; fortunately, mouthwashes can easily eradicate it. However, its usage is complicated when it comes to children. Continue this blog to know what happens if you or your child swallow mouthwash accidentally!

What Happens When You Swallow Mouthwash?

A mouthwash is supposed to be used in small quantities. If you gulp a little amount during gargling by any chance, there is no need to create a panicky atmosphere just yet.
Do not expect drastic changes right after you swallow a mouthwash. You may experience nothing more than diarrhea or nausea. This is because mouthwashes often have fluoride as a part of the combination, which is a known trigger to upset the stomach if swallowed. Diarrhea itself shall last for not more than 2 to 3 days on the whole.

However, if you accidentally swallow a large portion of mouthwash, then signs such as dizziness, drowsiness, breathing difficulties, along with nausea, and diarrhea will show up.

In severe cases, convulsion is one of the complications too! Therefore in such situations, it is best to get emergency help immediately.

What Happens When Children Swallow Mouthwash?

Children are not very careful and are at a greater risk of drinking mouthwash. Since their bodies are smaller in size, much less volume is required for resulting in a fatality. If you ever suffer from this situation, inform the poison control center immediately.

What To Do When An Adult Swallows Mouthwash?

On the contrary to children, adults require a relatively larger share of mouthwash to go into panic mode. In accidental swallowing cases of mouthwash, it is best that you first monitor the signs yourself.

However, no matter how challenging the situation is, do not vomit voluntarily. Call for immediate help if your heart rate rapidly increases or breathing difficulties.


There is an asset protocol for treating this mishap. The treatment plan depends on the severity of your condition:

  • IV fluid drip
  • Laxatives for cleaning the stomach
  • Activated charcoal for absorbing the chemicals
  • Breathing support

Are Mouthwashes lethal?

Death by accidentally swallowing mouthwash is far more common in children than adults. Toxicity is associated with ethanol in it. In some mouthwashes, the quantity of ethanol is as high as 27 – 28 %. Death in adults is rarely seen; however, can occur if used deliberately.

Dangers of Intentionally Taking Low Levels of Mouthwash

Some people consider mouthwash as easy access to alcohol. In mouthwashes, it is modified to make them bad in taste. Even then, many people swallow it to get high.

  • Some of the complications include:
  • Organ failure
  • Loss of vision (going blind)
  • Coma
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Respiratory effect

If your child happens to accidentally swallow mouthwash, you can contact kids 4ever Pediatric Dentistry. We are one of the best for children’s oral care in all Houston Call now at 832 300 8444 for help.

Disclaimer - Use At Your Own Risk :- The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. Any action you take upon the information on these blogs are strictly at your own risk. We will not be liable for any losses or damages in connection with the use of the information from these blogs.