This common hygiene product may have unintended consequences
Research suggests using mouthwash twice per day could be associated with diabetes.
According to the study, participants who used mouthwash two or more times daily had “a significantly elevated risk of pre-diabetes/diabetes compared to less frequent users or non-users of mouthwash.”
Diabetes is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a chronic disease that affects how your body turns food into energy. An estimated 30.3 million adults in the U.S. have diabetes, and 1 in 4 don’t even know they have it.
Dr. Jenny Ukena, an endocrinologist at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, shares her thoughts on the study’s results.
“The authors propose that since mouthwash destroys both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria, the lack of “good” bacteria somehow interferes with insulin regulation,” says Dr. Ukena. “It’s difficult to conclude anything given that this is an observational study, and so the association between mouthwash and diabetes cannot be considered causative without further investigation.”
Because of this, Dr. Ukena would not instruct patients to change their dental hygiene habits at this time based on the results of this study.
“Certainly, there are many factors including genetics, diet and weight that can increase someone’s risk of developing diabetes, and we are constantly learning more about other risk factors as we try to better understand diabetes,” says Dr. Ukena.
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.
This raises questions on leaky gut, certain medications that kill bacteria in your gut, including antibiotics.
Based on this theory, would probiotics help reduce the chance of diabetes?
Correlation does not equal causation. It could be that people who use a lot of mouthwash do so because they eat a lot of high-sugar/high-starch foods that cause tooth decay and plaque, so they use mouthwash for their dental hygiene. In which case, it’s not the mouthwash causing the diabetes, but the high-sugar diet that causes both the need for mouthwash and diabetes.
So, what is the point of the article? Sometimes there are items that just provoke anxiety and have absolutely no health relevance.