(NaturalHealth365) While oral health is important, if you are already at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes – due to genetics or lifestyle decisions – then, using mouthwash could be increasing it significantly. A recent study out of Harvard University has found that persons who use mouthwash twice per day are up to 55 percent more likely to develop full blown type 2 diabetes within 3 years.

The Harvard University scientists were looking to analyze links between standard over-the-counter mouthwash and its link to metabolic disorders due to the antibacterial ingredients it contains. What they discovered is incredible!

Using mouthwash twice per day raises type 2 diabetes risk by 30 percent

For the study, 1,206 overweight persons between the ages of 40 and 65 were examined. All members of this group had been determined to be at high risk for type 2 diabetes. Of those studied, 17 percent developed either type 2 diabetes or prediabetes symptoms.

This number rose to 20 percent in persons who rinsed with mouthwash once per day. While this was just a 3 percent increase, what really got the researchers’ attention was the results for those participants who used mouthwash twice or more per day. These individuals had a 30 percent higher chance of developing either type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.

Mouthwash, like antibiotics, kills bad and good bacteria

Why would this be? The researchers speculated it is due to the fact that the antibacterial agents in mouthwash are not selective. Instead of just targeting the harmful bacteria in the mouth, these products target a broad range of bacteria – including the beneficial strains.

When positive bacteria are killed in the mouth through the use of mouthwash, the body is inhibited in its ability to prevent and protect against type 2 diabetes. People who overuse mouthwash are also more prone to obesity due to killing off assistive microbes that assist the body in producing nitric oxide – which helps to regulate the insulin levels in the bloodstream.

Mouthwash seems like a ‘harmless’ enough product that can bring benefits to oral health. So, for many people, it’s hard to believe that using mouthwash could actually be harmful to any aspect of our health. But, recent revelations related to the destruction of ‘good’ bacteria and the negative effects of overusing antibiotics substantiate this kind of information.

Consider healthier alternatives to mouthwash to support oral health

Discover the best ways to maintain healthy teeth and gums – register now for the Holistic Oral Health Summit, hosted by Jonathan Landsman

The mechanisms of type 2 diabetes also share common pathways with blood pressure issues. While these results do not mean that mouthwash causes diabetes, they seem to be compelling evidence that its overuse could impair the body’s protective mechanisms.

Add to this the fact that most conventional mouthwashes are loaded with toxic ingredients including artificial colors, sweeteners and fluoride, anyone who currently uses mouthwash should be looking for healthier alternatives.

For example, there are a few good quality herbal rinses like, Nature’s Answer PerioBrite or you can try brushing with some essential oils like, neem, clover or peppermint oil. You’ll be left with a fresh, clean and happy mouth – without the toxic ingredients.

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