Is your quest to prevent bad breath putting your health at risk? Mouthwash is part of a daily routine for millions of people, but while killing bad bacteria, you’re also potentially harming some good bugs that play an important role in your health.

A recent study published in the journal Nitric Oxide found that people who used mouthwash twice or more daily are at significantly higher risk of developing pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes.

Here’s an interesting fact; your mouth is home to approximately 700 different species of bacteria! Some types can cause bad breath or tooth decay, so it’s not surprising that a lot of people feel more comfortable to go out into the world after using mouthwash.

Some of the bacteria in your mouth are extremely beneficial, and killing them is not what you’d want to do. Certain strains of bacteria in your mouth produce nitric oxide, which is necessary for healthy blood flow. Nitric oxide reduces the risk of high blood pressure and it keeps the walls of your arteries healthy (called endothelium). It is also necessary for insulin sensitivity. Reduced insulin sensitivity can lead to insulin resistance (syndrome X), and this can progress to type 2 diabetes. Mouthwash kills all bugs in your mouth, not just the bad ones.

The authors of the study have cautioned against the indiscriminate routine use of antibacterial mouthwash, claiming it may cause more harm than good. They have also said "Since no studies have demonstrated the safety of long-term twice daily use of mouthwash, people should be cautious in using mouthwash”. This is especially so for those who already have insulin resistance, or have a family history of type 2 diabetes. The reduction in nitric oxide production also increases the chance you’ll develop high blood pressure if you regularly use mouthwash.

Nobody wants tooth decay or bad breath, but it’s important to note that lots of people do not use mouthwash, and they don’t suffer with either. The type of bacteria you have in your mouth is largely determined by your gut health. We’ve all got bacteria in us and on us, with most of them living in your intestines. If you have a bacterial or fungal imbalance in your gut, this can affect the balance in other parts of your body, such as your mouth or sinuses.

Following a healthy diet which includes plenty of vegetables and fibre, while minimizing sugar is important, but sometimes that’s not enough to address a problem. The antimicrobial herbs and essential oils in BactoClear capsules are specifically designed to kill bad bacteria and Candida in the intestines and also the sinuses. It is also important to put good bugs into your gut, via fermented foods such as kimchi, or a good quality probiotic like Floratone.