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Using a mouthwash can increase risk of diabetes?

December 02, 2017 09:00 IST

Nearly all popular mouthwash solutions include ingredients that kill bacteria -- both the good and bad.

woman brushing teeth

Do you have this habit of using oral mouthwash at least twice a day?

If yes, then you may have to avoid this practice as a study has recently warned that it can significantly increase the risk of developing diabetes.

According to Harvard School of Public Health researchers, people who use mouthwash at least twice daily are at approximately 55 per cent increased risk of developing diabetes or dangerous blood sugar spikes -- known as pre-diabetes -- within three years, when compared to less frequent users.

US researchers claim that swilling with the anti-bacterial fluid could be killing beneficial microbes which live in the mouth and protect against the conditions.

Nearly all popular mouthwash solutions include ingredients that kill bacteria -- both the good and bad, the study authors stated.

Researcher Kaumudi J Joshipura said that most of these antibacterial ingredients in mouthwash are not selective.

They do not target specific oral bacteria-instead, these ingredients can act on a broad range of bacteria.

They analysed 1,206 overweight people aged 40 to 65, without prevalence of developing cardiovascular diseases or diabetes.

It was found that 43 per cent of the participants used mouthwash at least once daily and 22 per cent used mouthwash at least twice a daily.

Both the categories of population were at a higher risk of high blood sugar problems.

Helpful bacteria in the mouth can protect against obesity and diabetes, as it helps the body produce nitric oxide.

This important molecule helps trillions of our cells to communicate with each other by transmitting signals throughout the entire body and regulates insulin levels and our metabolism.

However, the researchers warn killing off good helpful bacteria also makes room for harmful bacteria to thrive.

Therefore, they said that rinsing once a day may be advisable. The research appears in the journal Nitric Oxide.

Lead image used for representational purposes only. Image: Bill Branson for National Cancer Institute/Wikimedia Commons

Source: ANI