The truth about the harms of mouthwash versus its benefits! The truth about the harms of mouthwash versus its benefits!

The truth about the harms of mouthwash versus its benefits!

The truth about the harms of mouthwash versus its benefits!

Using mouthwash is part of many people's daily routine, whether it is to freshen breath or prevent tooth decay.
But new evidence reveals that mouthwash may do more harm than good.

Attention is now turning to the oral microbiome (the colony of diverse microbes in our mouths), and specifically, how using mouthwash can eliminate some of the good bacteria that help protect our bodies from diseases, such as heart and type 2 diabetes.

The study found that antiseptic mouthwash is associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure and other medical conditions, with its bacteria-killing properties believed to be the reason.

Dr Zoe Brooks, Associate Professor in Dental Education and Research at the University of Plymouth, says: “Your mouth is full of hundreds of species of bacteria, and while some cause plaque and cavities, others are very beneficial to health and responsible for very complex processes in the body.” 

For example, there are bacteria that live on the tongue and convert nitrates from the food we eat into nitrites, which then turns into nitric oxide in the intestines, which is responsible for relaxing blood vessels, keeping our blood pressure low.

“A number of studies have found that using mouthwash — especially brands containing the antiseptic chlorhexidine — can lead to an increase in blood pressure, especially in people who already have high levels,” Brooks adds.

A 2019 study at the University of Puerto Rico found that people who use mouthwash twice a day or more have a greater risk of developing high blood pressure.

A 2017 study by the same research group based in Puerto Rico also found that overweight people who use over-the-counter mouthwash at least twice daily have a 50% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the course of a year. A period of three years.

The researchers said that killing these key oral bacteria reduces the body's ability to produce nitric acid, which in turn prevents the effective breakdown of blood sugar, causing dangerous spikes in blood sugar that can lead to diabetes over time.

This is not the only side effect that may be harmful to mouthwash, as a study published in 2020 in the Journal of Critical Care Medicine found that antiseptic mouthwash used by patients who were admitted to the hospital may increase the risk of death due to sepsis, which is a life-threatening condition that occurs when The body's immune system overreacts to infection, leading to organ failure and sometimes death.

Scientists pointed out that killing the oral bacteria responsible for producing nitric acid prevents the body from absorbing enough of this compound, which plays a major role in healthy blood circulation.

"Of course, there's also good evidence that when patients use mouthwashes containing the antiseptic chlorhexidine (along with a toothbrush), they reduce the plaque that causes tooth decay and early gum disease," Brooks says.

But it's a double-edged sword, because chlorhexidine is so strong that it kills many different types of bacteria, including the good ones. She adds: "By unbalancing the oral microbiome in this way we may indirectly affect not only heart health, but also increase the risk of succumbing to other problems such as sepsis and also contribute to the broader problem of antibiotic resistance."

“As a dentist, my advice is different for every patient, and I question each time whether the benefits of using mouthwash outweigh any personal risks for them,” Brooks explains.

Terrifying ways snoring can kill you

Experts say that loud snoring can put a person's health at risk, and may ultimately lead to death in some cases.
Experts explain that it is not just a "common disturbance during sleep" but a condition in itself that causes low oxygen levels during sleep.

Snoring can also be a symptom of more serious conditions, including obstructive sleep apnea, which affects about one in eight people.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been linked to a host of fatal conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Snoring in general is associated with some more surprising health risks as well, ranging from ruptured blood vessels to work accidents.

Rupture of blood vessels

A recent study showed that snoring can increase the risk of strokes caused by blockage and rupture of blood vessels.

The researchers looked at data from more than 82,000 adults in China. They analyzed their DNA to measure whether they were genetically likely to snore, and tracked whether they had had a stroke.

Over an average of 10 years, about 19,623 participants had a stroke, including 11,483 cases of stroke caused by obstruction of blood flow to the brain.

About 5,710 people suffered a hemorrhagic stroke caused by a weak artery in the brain that suddenly began bleeding due to its rupture.

The researchers found that those who snored were more likely to suffer from both types of strokes.

Serious accidents

Separate research shows that snoring can double the odds of having an accident at work.

Swedish researchers suggested that this association may be due to feeling excessively sleepy throughout the day.

The research team followed 2,874 men between the ages of 30 and 64, who were asked about snoring and “excessive daytime sleepiness.” The study looked at whether they had been involved in an occupational accident from 1985 to 1994.

A total of 345 occupational accidents were reported by 247 men.

Men who snored and had excessive daytime sleepiness were more likely to have accidents over the 10 years.

It has also been shown that snoring and excessive sleepiness increase the risk of car accidents.

Heart disease

Snoring could mean you're at risk for fatal heart disease.
The researchers analyzed the condition of 2,320 adults who were 74 years old on average at the beginning of the study, which lasted about 10 years.

The study looked at whether they had experienced a heart-related incident, including heart attacks, serious chest pain or heart failure that required an overnight stay in hospital.

Those who snored and were daytime sleepy were 46% more likely to develop heart disease.

Snoring and drowsiness could be early warning signs of heart disease in older people, said Dr. Johannes Endeschow, of Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta.

While the relationship between high blood pressure and sleep apnea is well known, little research has examined how snoring affects this risk by itself.

But one study measured snoring, apnea, and blood pressure in 181 adults aged 49 years on average, and found that those who snored were significantly more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, regardless of whether they suffered from sleep apnea.

Professor Habibullah Khazaei, from Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences in Iran, said: “Patients with high blood pressure had higher levels of snoring and sleep apnea, as well as indicators of excess weight. Snoring was the strongest indicator of high blood pressure.”

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes causes blood sugar levels to become very high and increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Research published in Diabetes & Metabolism Journal measured snoring in 3,948 middle-aged adults who did not suffer from heart disease.

South Korean researchers measured their blood sugar levels to see if they were at risk of developing diabetes.

People with the worst snoring were 84% more likely to have prediabetes, a condition that occurs before type 2 diabetes.

They were also more than twice as likely to develop diabetes as those who did not snore.

“Snoring is associated with impaired glucose metabolism even in metabolically healthy adults,” explained Dr. So-mi Jima Cho, from Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul. “Snoring may need lifestyle modifications and drug therapy to improve blood sugar.”
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