While brushing teeth is an integral part of our daily hygiene as it strengthens and maintains oral health, American researchers claim that when the toothpaste contains antimicrobial agents it kills beneficial bacteria that protect us from obesity and diabetes.
According to an article published by the Harvard School of Public Health in the Nitric Oxide study, while the toothpaste is supposed to target bacteria that cause plaque and bad breath, unfortunately simultaneously it kills beneficial strains of bacteria.
As they noticed, people who washed their teeth twice a day were 55 percent more likely to develop diabetes or dangerous sudden increases in blood sugar within three years. Although earlier studies have shown that poor oral hygiene can contribute to health problems in general, this study is the first to suggest that good practice also has negative consequences.
Dr. Coewoud Gosipoura, Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health, and his colleagues examined 1,206 overweight people aged 40-65 who were at risk of developing diabetes. Over the course of the study, about 17% had diabetes or pre-diabetes, but this percentage increased to 20% for those who washed their teeth once a day and was up to 30% for those who brushed them twice in the morning.
According to Dr. Giostipara, beneficial oral bacteria protect against diabetes and obesity, as they help the body produce nitric acid, which in turn regulates insulin levels. Nitric acid is also important for regulating metabolism, balancing energy, and keeping blood glucose levels under control.
Today many toothpastes contain potent antimicrobial agents (such as chlorhexidine, triclosan, cetylpyridinium chloride, alcohol, essential oils, fluoride and peroxide) and thus, along with harmful bacteria, they often eliminate beneficial effects.
It is noteworthy that at the beginning of 2017 it was published in the Journal of Periodontal Research also showed that some oral bacteria protect against diabetes and obesity.
Finally, another older study published in 2013 has stated that just a week of toothwashing can reduce oral nitrate by 90% by lowering blood levels by a quarter. These changes eventually resulted in visible sudden increases in blood glucose.