New research, published in the journal Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, demonstrates that an antiseptic compound found in mouthwash destroy “friendly” oral bacteria. These oral bacteria help to keep up normal blood pressure levels. 

Researchers know that the microscopic organisms in our guts impact overall health. However, maybe there is a less obvious association between oral bacteria and many health conditions. 

Moreover, another recent article demonstrated how a particular oral bacterium could accelerate the progression of colorectal malignant growth and make the disease more aggressive. 

These investigations concentrated on bacteria that cause disease. However, much the same as our guts, our mouths likewise contain “friendly” bacteria. These bacteria are essential for keeping up great wellbeing. 

An oral microbiome with a good balance between these various types of microorganisms can keep sickness under control. Studies, however, have discovered that when this balance is vexed it “adds to oral and entire body systematic sicknesses.” These diseases are as diverse as inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, atherosclerosis, and diabetes.  

In addition to this, new research finds out that a balanced oral microbiome keeps up great cardiovascular wellbeing. This oral microbiome helps in the transformation of dietary nitrate into nitric oxide (NO). NO is a signaling molecule that helps to maintain normal blood pressure. 

Worryingly, however, the new investigation demonstrates that chlorhexidine, an antiseptic compound in mouthwash, may slaughter NO-producing bacteria. This, in turn, may raise systolic blood pressure. 

Nathan Bryan, Ph.D., from the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, drove the new research. 

Mouthwash ‘may cause more damage than anything else’  

Bryan and associates utilized “16S rRNA gene sequencing and analysis.” They used this to look at in utilizing chlorhexidine germicide mouthwash two times per day for 1 week changed the oral bacterial networks and blood pressure levels in 26 healthy people.  

Following 1 week, the 26 study volunteers returned to their typical oral hygiene practices. The scientists gathered samples of the members’ saliva and tongue scrapings. After this, they estimated their blood pressure at four distinct points all through the investigation: at baseline, at that point 7, 10, and after 14 days. 

What Researcher Says:

Bryan and colleagues report that “twice-daily chlorhexidine usage was associated with a significant increase in systolic blood pressure after 1 week of use and recovery from use resulted in enrichment in nitrate-reducing bacteria on the tongue.” 

The study’s senior author comments that “The demonstration that the presence of NO-producing bacteria in the oral cavity can help maintain normal blood pressure gives us another target to help the more than 100 million Americans living with high blood pressure.” 

“Two out of three patients prescribed high blood pressure medication do not have their blood pressure adequately managed.” Moreover, he adds “this may provide an explanation as to why. None of the [current] drugs for management of hypertension are targeted towards these NO-producing bacteria.” 

In addition to this, the researcher continues to explain the mechanisms underlying the findings, saying that NO “is one of the most important signaling molecules produced in the human body.” 

However, because of the “ubiquitous” nature of this molecule, “the systemic effects of orally produced bacteria may have other significant effects on human health beyond maintenance of blood pressure,” Bryan says. 

In addition to this, Bryan says, “We know one cannot be well without an adequate amount of NO circulating throughout the body. Yet, the very first thing over 200 million Americans do each day uses an antiseptic mouthwash, which destroys the ‘good bacteria’ that helps to create the NO. These once thought good habits may be doing more harm than good.” 



Skip to toolbar