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Mouthwashes are often branded as teeth whitening, gum strenghting and cavity resistant. And, it does feel good and refreshing when you swirl it around in your mouth. But it can cost you your health. According to a new study published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine, mouthwash reduces the benefits of exercise by increasing blood pressure. It does so by wiping out helpful mouth bacteria.
The aim of exercise is to increase blood flow to the active muscles. This is done by the nitric oxide produced during a workout. Researchers say that the chemicals in mouthwash kill the good bacteria in the mouth. This is the same bacteria that help in nitric oxide synthesis. If nitric oxide is not produced, then it impedes the flow of blood. This can cause oxygen deprivation to the muscles. Similarly, mouthwash also kills bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria are necessary for killing the pathogens in the body. Removing all bacteria gives the pathogen space to swipe in and cause diseases.
Here we look at the health implications of mouthwash.
Alcohol in mouthwash causes sores in the inner linning of the mouth. These sores can cause burning and irritation in the mouth, which makes it very difficult to consume food. If the alcohol content in the mouthwash is too high, it can also damage the protective layer of the gum.
The power of mouthwash to mask your mouth's odour is short-lived. Once the effects wear off, your mouth will start to smell again. Do not put all your eggs in one basket. You cannot only depend on mouthwash for this. Regular flossing and brushing is also important.
Daily use of mouthwash can increase the risk of oral cancer. According to dental associations across the world, the carcinogenic properties in mouthwash can cause cancer. You must spit it out immediately to reduce this risk.
When the plaque in your mouth turns to tartar, it is called gingivitis. Sometimes, mouthwash fails to clear that plaque effectively. Then that plague goes into hiding and becomes more difficult to clean. This causes more problems and transformation into tartar becomes easier.
Avoid using mouthwash if you are breastfeeding. The chlorhexidine in the mouthwash can affect your baby. Chlorhexidine is highly poisonous and it causes allergic reactions in kids. Same goes for pregnant women. If you have to use a mouthwash, use one that does not contain chlorhexidine.
Alcohol in the mouthwash can react with the outer layer of the gum and cause periodontitis. Periodontitis destroys the jaw line and causes tooth loss. Talk to your dentist about which mouthwash you should avoid, if you want to avoid this condition.
Always read the label or consult your dentist before you buy a mouthwash. It can contain some elements that may be very harmful to your health.