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Mouthwash could raise heart disease risk, expert claims

Swilling mouthwash each morning could raise your risk of heart disease, one of the world’s leading experts claims.

Dr Nathan Bryan, based at the University of Texas, Austin, studies the role nitric oxide – which helps cells communicate – plays in the body’s vital organs.

He said daily rinsing and gargling, which is meant to eliminate bad breath, also rids the body of the important molecule.

The bacteria it kills provides the body with a constant supply of nitric oxide, which controls and regulates blood pressure.

Controlling blood pressure is known to be key to preventing cardiovascular disease – the world’s leading killer, and strokes.

But Dr Bryan also said that poor oral hygiene, such as not using mouthwash, also disrupts the production of nitric oxide.

Daily rinsing and gargling with mouthwash, which is meant to eliminate bad breath, rids the body of nitric oxide – which is designed to control blood pressure

He made the claim in a lecture at the American Naturopathic Medical Association’s 36th Annual Convention in Las Vegas.

Dr Bryan told attendees: ‘Recent discoveries reveal that oral bacteria provide the human body with continuous sources of nitric oxide. 

‘Nitric oxide is one of the most important molecules produced in the human body. It controls and regulates blood pressure and is a major factor in preventing CVD.’

Disrupting nitric oxide production 

He added: ‘Poor oral hygiene, the use of antiseptic mouthwash or antibiotics can kill these commensal bacteria and disrupt nitric oxide production putting patients at risk for CVD,’ News Medical reports.

The rise in blood pressure can be as much as 26 mmHg – which could send someone from being deemed healthy to suffering hypertension. 

Each two-point rise in blood pressure raises the risk of dying from heart disease by seven per cent and from stroke by 10 per cent, according to separate research.


A commercial brand of mouthwash can help to prevent gonorrhoea from spreading, new research suggests.

Daily rinsing and gargling with Listerine may be a cheap and easy way to curb the spread of ‘the clap’, experts believe.

Despite being spread sexually, it is known that people can carry the infection in their throats for months on end without suffering any symptoms.

This can be then be passed on through oral sex, but declining condom use is still causing a surge in cases.

But rising rates heighten the risk of the emergence of antibiotic resistant strains of Neisseria gonnorhoeae – the bacteria responsible.

This makes the need for a preventative measure that doesn’t rely on condoms even more urgent, scientists claimed.

Other similar findings

Dr Bryan’s claims back up findings from 2014 which showed using mouthwash is a ‘disaster’ for cardiovascular health. 

Swilling kills off ‘good’ bacteria that help blood vessels relax – so increasing blood pressure, Queen Mary University of London researchers said.

This effect ‘appeared within one day’ of using the mouthwash, researchers wrote in the journal Free Radical Biology And Medicine at the time.

More than half of British adults regularly use mouthwash, creating a market worth £180 million a year. In the US it tops almost $1.5 billion.

Other powers of mouthwash 

Dr Bryan’s claim comes after an Australian study suggested a commercial brand of mouthwash could help prevent gonorrhoea from spreading. 

Daily rinsing and gargling with Listerine may be a cheap and easy way to curb the spread of ‘the clap’, experts said last December.

While other research has showed another popular brand, Corsodyl, may be creating superbugs by helping bacteria found in the body fight off antibiotics.

The study, conducted by researchers at Public Health England last October, raised fears over the use of the mouthwash ingredient, chlorhexidine.


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