Does Using Mouthwash Increase Your Risk of Diabetes?

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Using mouthwash every day may be part of your daily oral health routine. You think nothing of gargling with that bottle of mouthwash. But, did you know your mouthwash increases the risk of diabetes?

The New Findings

According to a new study, using over-the-counter mouthwash regularly was linked to an increased risk of developing diabetes. If you Use mouthwash morning and night daily destroys “good” mouth bacteria in your mouth. When that happens, it will change blood sugar metabolism, possibly encouraging diabetes. Especially for those people who already engage in high-risk behaviors.

For those participants in the study who reported daily use of mouthwash, they were 55% percent more probable to develop diabetes or prediabetes over a three-year period. Researchers theorize that when the “good” bacteria are destroyed in the mouth, it inhibits the formation of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps regulate insulin and controls blood sugar levels.

Unfortunately, the CDC reports that more than 100 million adults in the U.S. are either diabetic or prediabetic. Though they say that the growth rate has remained steady, it is still the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. Likewise, 7.2 million Americans don’t even know they have diabetes. And, as the study suggests, using mouthwash could make their condition worse and they wouldn’t know it.

Preventative Measures

Whether you are prediabetic already or want to prevent the condition, you need to make a few lifestyle changes.

First, eat healthy foods. Focus on fresh produce and whole grains, and stay away from high fat and high calories foods.

Next, incorporate physical activity into your life. Exercise daily for a minimum of 30 minutes daily. You can incorporate other chores into your daily exercise, such as walking the dog or riding your bike. But, even if you can’t fit long sessions of exercise into your schedule, breaking them up into smaller sessions is okay too.

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Lastly, lose weight. According to the Mayo Clinic, losing as little as 7% of your body weight can help reduce the risk of diabetes.

Final Thoughts

Making healthy lifestyle changes can also help reduce the risk of diabetes. Since mouthwash increases the risk of diabetes, stop using it or minimize your use to once daily. You can also find natural alternatives as well that don’t destroy the good bacteria in your mouth.

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