Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) is a cationic quaternary ammonium compound used in some types of mouthwashes, toothpastes, lozenges, throat sprays, breath sprays, and nasal sprays. It is an antiseptic that kills bacteria and other microorganisms. It has been shown to be effective in preventing dental plaque and reducing gingivitis.It has also been used as an ingredient in certain pesticides. Though one study seems to indicate cetylpyridinium chloride does not cause brown tooth stains, at least one mouthwash containing CPC as an active ingredient bears the warning label "In some cases, antimicrobial rinses may cause surface staining to teeth," following a class-action lawsuit brought by customers whose teeth were stained.
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