This common hygiene product may have unintended consequences
A recent study suggests that 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.
“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
Brittany Hunter, health enews contributor, is a specialist of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. She has a degree in Journalism from Ohio University and experience in communications, marketing and public strategies. She loves going to concerts, reading and exploring the city.