Crest Pro-Health Mouthwash: "I Woke Up With Brown Spots On My Teeth"

Reader Monique says that she used Crest Pro-Health Mouthwash and woke up with brown spots on her teeth and no sense of taste. How terrifying!

Crest Pro-Health Mouthwash turned my teeth brown! And on top of that, I can’t taste anything! I can’t believe this stuff is even on the market. My wisdom teeth are coming in painfully, and I am prepping to get them removed next week. So while at Rite Aid last night, I picked up a bottle of Crest Pro-Health mouthwash. I typically use Listerine, but as I said my wisdom teeth are killing me and this Crest CRAP advertises “No Alcohol”. Cool.

Except that after using it for ONE day (in the am and then before bed) I woke up today with brown spots on and in between my teeth and I cannot taste anything at all. After being scared almost to the point of tears, I started googling these symptoms. You wouldn’t believe how many website there are that are dedicated to this nonsense. Crest should be sued for this!

More people need to be informed about this. On top of that, if you read the comments on the site I am linking, Crest wont even reimburse you for the lousy 4 dollars you spend on this poison. Never mind the expensive dental bills I am going to face whitening and repairing my teeth. Spread the word Consumerist.

Yikes! We took a look around the internet and found a lot of people complaining about this issue.

Here are some highlights from

David Case from Flint, MI says:

At the beginning mouthwash was fine. Nice not having the alcohol burn and the breath, that my girlfriend hated. So that was nice.

But after extended use for a month it stained in between my teeth brown. It looked terrible and it cost me a one hundred dollar trip to the dentist to scrape that junk off. The dentist advised that it was my mouthwash after hearing it was this Crest mouthwash that I was using. I was surprised that a mouthwash that is suppose to help clean your teeth actually does the opposite.

Another guy says:

This garbage put dingy yellow and brown stains on my teeth, especially near the gums. A dental cleaning failed to get them off. If I had known this mouthwash could cause stains, I would never have used it in the first place. If my next dental cleaning fails to remove the yellow on my teeth, P&G may have a lawsuit on their hands. It’s to the point where I don’t want to even talk or smile. These Pro Health products should be illegal.

E.Leyden from NY, NY says:

The first thing I noticed was a buildup of white gunk on my tongue. I had just brushed my tongue until it was a nice pink before using the mouthwash, which annoyed me. But it wasn’t just gunk — this stuff was solid. It was annoying, but I could live with gunk. I can’t live with what else it did, though.

Let me put this as simply as possible: This mouthwash destroys your sense of taste. Not just immediately after you spit it out, (it ruins it then too, since water tasted strange when I had a drink before bed) but the next morning as well. I COVERED my eggs in ketchup, yet the normally puckering taste of a mouthful of ketchup was missing. I ate kiwis, pineapple, apple, tea, and nothing. It was like a mouthful of sawdust, or water, or watery sawdust.

About 12 hours after the rinsing, I finally started to regain some taste. I looked up the “active” ingredient in Crest Pro-Health online, called cetylpyridinium chloride. This is what the Materials Safety and Data Sheet has to say about this ingredient: “Toxic if swallowed. Very toxic by inhalation. May cause severe eye irritation. Respiratory and skin irritant,” with a large TOXIC warning at the top of the page. I’m sure the concentration in this product is low enough to be harmless in a single dose, but imagine years of using this? Hopefully this won’t be on the market long enough for that to be possible.

Joseph Adams says:

This is easily the most disturbing thing I’ve ever had happen to me. I’ve never had side-effects like this from ANY over the counter medicine, much less an oral product. My bottom teeth now have visible brown spots between them and I’m worried that they won’t come off (or that it’ll cost me a lot of money to remove them). I don’t think I’ve ever felt so screwed over like this before… this is simply inexcusable. Crest should not be allowed to have a product like this on the market without a huge sticker warning you about its side-effects.

Sadly I don’t think people will see this, and they too will get brown garbage in between their teeth. No one googles or looks up mouth wash on Amazon, though I sure wish I did now…

Has this happened to you?

Crest Pro-Health Rinse [Amazon]
Healthy, Beautiful Smiles for Life [Ask Metafilter]
Top Oral Health Products Under $20: Crest Pro-Health Rinse (Read the comments) [Associated Content)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.