Scientists claim that using mouthwash twice a day can up the risk of developing diabetes by 50%.
Researchers in the United States found that people who use over-the-counter mouthwash twice a day were 50 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes than those who use mouthwash once a day or not at all.
The everyday hygiene habit can kill off helpful bacteria in the mouth as well as harmful ones.
The author of the study, Professor Kaumudi Joshipura, explained using mouthwash twice a day may kill off helpful bacteria in our mouths that can protect against diabetes and obesity.
Joshipura, Professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, said nearly all commonly used mouthwash formulas include some kind of antibacterial ingredient that kills bacteria – both the good and bad.
He said: “Most of these antibacterial ingredients in mouthwash are not selective.
“In other words, they do not target specific oral bacteria-instead, these ingredients can act on a broad range of bacteria.”
The study concluded that participants who used mouthwash twice daily had a significantly elevated risk (50 percent) of diabetes and prediabetes compared to those who used it less frequently, even when sex, weight and diet were taken into account.
A study published earlier this year in the Journal of Periodontal Research found that some mouth bacteria seem to protect against diabetes and obesity.
And another study from 2013 found just a week of mouthwash could decrease a person’s oral nitrite production by 90%, lowering blood nitrite levels by a quarter.
These shifts in production led to visible blood pressure spikes.
UK diabetes charities said it was too early to comment on whether dropping mouthwash could help protect against the condition.