Crest Pro-Health Mouthwash Turns Woman's Teeth Brown

Posted by: Andee / Category:

I found this article via the Consumerist and thought it was worth sharing...

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?

Here are links to more user experiences with Crest Pro-Health:

Crest Pro-Health
Top Oral Health Products under $20


  1. Joe Kraynak Says:

    This happened to me. I didn't lose my sense of taste, nor did my tongue turn a funny color, but I did get the dark brown stains, particularly near the gum line and between my teeth. Crest says that some people are susceptible to staining from the anti-bacterial ingredient in the mouthwash. They also claim you can scrub it off with a toothbrush with whitening toothpaste, but I tried that, and it didn't work. My hygienist had to scrub for a solid hour and reschedule me to finish the cleaning.

  1. Amy Hall Says:

    My mother who whitens her teeth, uses a sonic toothbrush and doesn't smoke, etc showed me her teeth today and they were very brown on the bottom by the gums and in between. She had no clue what was causing it (this is something her dentist recommended!) I remembered my sister telling me about this issue, and sure enough mom was using Pro Health mouthwash.
    I went to their site and was so angered by the crap they try to explain this problem away- only .01% apparently affected (wrong), and admitting that it can discolor yet not labeling it for consumers. So they are presuming that THEY can decide that the health benefit of their product outweighs any cosmetic issues. Anyway, guess what? They will sell you whiteners to fix the problem. Gee, thanks. I will make sure to spread the word and will never use their products again.

  1. Sydney Says:

    I was watching one of the morning shows (can't remember which one, but I think it was "Today" on NBC) and they were talking about this very issue. There was a bottle of Crest Pro Health sitting on the coffee table in front of the guests, which included a dentist.

    The word is getting out, thankfully. This happened to many people, much more than Crest owns up to.

    Thanks for reading the blog and the comments guys!!!

  1. Anonymous Says:

    omg im so upset after faithfully using this product and loving it my teeth are now brown!! why wasnt there a warning on the label??? we use thse products to get whiter teeth!@! im so upset, this is horrible the product needs to be taken off the market

  1. Sydney Says:


    I agree that the product should be taken off the shelves. Even if this only happens to a small number of people (not sure if I believe that) they should warn everyone of the risks.

    I plan on re-posting this article on the front page of my blog again later today to get more people to read it. Word needs to get out!!!

  1. Anonymous Says:

    After I got a Monroe piercing, I was advised to use an alcohol-free mouthwash after eating as part of aftercare.

    Since I got it done, I've been complaining about food not having any taste, or having a strange texture now. I looked in the mirror last night, and noticed new brown spots in between my lower teeth. Today, after not feeling any burn from the fresh jalepenos in my salad, I decided to Google it. I'm totally astounded that this stuff can cause you to lose your taste, turn your teeth brown, and they can call this "Pro Health".