A new study has revealed that regular use of mouthwash may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, researchers state that people with a high risk of diabetes who use mouthwash daily, have a 55 percent chance of developing the disease.
Scientists at Harvard University were investigating the links between over-the-counter mouthwash and its potential to weaken people’s metabolisms. They found that mouthwash can kill microbes which live in the mouth and regulate the body’s metabolism, sugar levels, and energy levels.
“Most of these antibacterial ingredients in mouthwash are not selective. In other words, they do not target specific oral bacteria,” states Kaumudi Joshipura, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health.
The study was published in the journal Nitric Oxide, and it looked at over one thousand overweight people aged between 40 and 65 who had a high risk of developing diabetes.
Approximately 17 percent of people developed diabetes, which eventually rose to 20 percent for those using mouthwash one a day, and an estimated 30 percent for those who used it twice a day.
According to the Joshipura, some microbes found in the mouth help produce nitric oxide, which controls insulin levels and protects people from obesity and diabetes.
Mouthwash has never been regarded as a catalyst for disease, however, the British Dental Association has not listed it as a necessary component of proper oral health care. The latest study further reinforces the idea that mouthwash eliminates helpful bacteria.
That doesn’t mean we need to start throwing away our mouthwash. The study focused on the effects of mouthwash on a specific group of people who were already predisposed to type 2 diabetes.
Even the study’s authors said people should still stick to the recommended one rinse a day as mouthwash can still prevent plaque build-up and bad breath.
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