Woman with bad breath covering her mouth

Can Getting Rid of Bad Breath Lead to Poor Health?

Halitosis, or bad breath, is a problem that about 50 percent of Americans deal with. It can lead to embarrassing situations, so nearly 200 million people use mouthwash twice every day to get rid of it. You may be getting rid of bad breath with mouthwash, but the liquid may also be getting rid of the bacteria that your mouth needs.

Some Mouthwash Can Disrupt Oral Bacteria

There are some 500 to 700 different species of bacteria that live on your teeth, tongue, and oral mucosa. But not all bacteria in the mouth are bad. Your cosmetic dentist in Meridian will tell you that.

Some bacteria are beneficial to your body. Others, on the other hand, are pathogenic ones, which are to blame for poor health and bad breath.

So what does this have to do with mouthwash?

The general advice is to gargle and rinse with mouthwash for 30 seconds. The purpose of the liquid is to get rid of all the bacteria living in your mouth — not some, but all of them. That is the bad part.

Your body requires some of the bacteria in your mouth. Mouthwash may give you the fresh breath that you need, but it’s affecting your health in the process.

Using Mouthwash May Increase Blood Pressure

Man using a mouthwashMatt Mesina, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association and a member of the American College of Dentists, points out that in most cases, mouthwash isn’t harmful. But there have been studies that link using mouthwash could affect your blood pressure.

A UK study published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine suggests that some of the bacteria that mouthwash wipes out from your mouth helps your body generate nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide is one of the most important molecules produced in the human body. It’s crucial to your cardiovascular system, and it’s especially helpful in keeping blood pressure down.

Taking away nitric oxide will result in the onset and progression of cardiovascular disease.

The Link Between Mouthwash and Diabetes

Some mouthwash often combines chemicals, like potassium sorbate, propylene glycol, polymer 407, and caramel. These chemicals, however, can give you higher chances of developing prediabetes or diabetes.

The combination can impair the ability of oral bacteria to turn nitrate to nitrite. The impact falls on your systemic health. A study published in the journal Nitric Oxide suggests that the use of mouthwash, which kills oral bacteria, may have long-term health consequences.

The participants who either didn’t use mouthwash or used it once every day were free from diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Those who used the product two times a day, or more, had an almost 50 percent chance of developing prediabetes or diabetes.

The researchers also looked at the figures to establish a connection since about 200 million people in America use mouthwash twice daily. Meanwhile, there are about 425 adults in America affected by diabetes or prediabetes.

Moderation in using mouthwash may help negate these risks. And it always pays to check the label of every product and consult your dentist.

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