Yeah, it does sound strange. Doesn’t it? We always had believed that we were doing ourselves good when we used mouthwash on a daily basis. But the myth has been finally busted. There is more to what meets the eye.
Researchers from Puerto Rico have discovered that using mouthwash everyday can potentially increase your risk of pre-diabetes. A journal called Nitric Oxide has published the results and findings of this study.
The results specifically mention that those using mouthwash twice or more in a day’s span are at a much higher risk of diabetes. It also points out that using it occasionally will not have any side-effects as such.
So if you are being lured by that freshness you feel after using your mouthwash, then you need to control your temptation and use it less frequently.
If It is Indeed Dangerous, Then How Does It Harm Us?
Agreed that the advertisements of various over the counter mouthwash products are not meager lies. They are in fact speaking the truth. Mouthwash does kill bacteria and germs. But we should also remember at this very juncture that a healthy mouth has a fine balance of various kinds of bacteria.
Most of the bacteria are harmful, and it is very much required to remove them from the overall health of the mouth. But then mouthwash is not a selective antibacterial solution. Besides killing the bacteria responsible for tooth decay and bad breath, it also kills the essential microbes in our mouth.
These useful microbes in the mouth aid in the production of nitric oxide. This is a chemical very much essential for blood flow.
Nitric Oxide also regulates endothelial functions, blood pressure, and insulin sensitivity. These three processes are all linked to diabetes. Hence a deficiency in nitric oxide can increase the chances of diabetes – thanks to using mouthwash regularly.
Kaumudi Joshipua, Director of the Center for Clinical Researcher and Health Production, led the group of researchers in this study.
The Other Side to The Same Story
However, the good news for those who use mouthwash regularly is that there is also another side to the same story. Dr. William T. Cefalu who is the Chief Scientific, Medical and Mission Officer for the American Diabetes Association dismisses the findings as being inconsistent.
For him, there are major inconsistencies in the data itself on which the study is based. Since he cannot trust the findings, he puts it nicely that the findings are if not anything at least interesting.
The first inconsistency, Cefalu feels is the fact in which results have been extrapolated. The selected sample for the study was 945 overweight people. To be specific, the increase in chances was found to be a staggering 55% for those using mouthwash daily.
Now Cefalu doesn’t agree to the fact that these results can also be conclusive for those within the normal weight range. He feels that results can be believable only when the parameters like smoking, physical activity, weight, alcohol consumption are controlled. Because for him it is lifestyle basically which is responsible for much of the damage.
Plus the irony is that people with diabetes have a higher chance of periodontal disease. So how can someone using mouthwash be asked not to use it when both the conditions – diabetes and periodontal disease are interconnected?
The End to The Debate?
American Dental Association finally issued a statement trying to find a closure to the never-ending debate. They asserted that though mouthwash cannot replace brushing and flossing, it can effectively reduce the risks of gingivitis, plaque, and tooth decay.
So to be on the safe side – let’s just use it but let’s not overdo it.