In television commercials, it all looks very simple. Yes, people use mouthwash and this mouthwash instantly neutralizes the bad bacteria hiding in the mouth and provides dental hygiene.
But what happens when you actually shake a mouthful of antibacterial chemicals around your mouth?
What does it do to your body and other microorganisms that can actually be beneficial to health?
The downstream effects can also be surprising and extensive, as one study showed last year. It affects more than just your dental health.
In an experiment conducted by scientists from the UK and Spain, researchers suggested that the slightest movement of using mouthwash after exercising could reduce one of the benefits of exercise: lower blood pressure.
When you exercise, your blood vessels open in response to nitric oxide production, which increases the diameter of your blood vessels. This process is called vasodilation and it increases blood flow circulation to active muscles.
For a long time, researchers thought this only occurred during exercise, but especially recently, it has been proven that blood circulation remains high even after exercise (this means blood pressure drops), thanks to the bacteria’s interaction with a compound called nitrate, which is formed when nitric oxide is broken down.
“Research over the past decade has shown that nitrate can be absorbed in the salivary glands and excreted in the mouth with saliva,” says physiologist RaulBescos of Plymouth University.
“Some types of bacteria in the mouth can use nitrate and turn into nitrite, a very important molecule that can increase nitric oxide production in the body.” He spoke in the form.
Once nitrite has been produced and swallowed with saliva, it is absorbed into the bloodstream. It returns to nitric oxide, which keeps blood vessels wide and lowers blood pressure.
However, according to a small study, if an antibacterial mouthwash is added to the mixture after exercise, this biological mechanism can be significantly interrupted.
In one experiment, 23 healthy adults ran on a treadmill for 30 minutes. After the exercise, participants were asked to rinse their mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash or a mint-flavored placebo.
Mouthwash reduces systolic blood pressure by over 60%
These mouth rinses occurred immediately after exercise and also 30, 60 and 90 minutes after exercise. In addition, participants’ blood pressure was taken during the experiment, immediately after exercise, and during rest periods. The results showed that one hour after the treadmill session, the mean decrease in systolic blood pressure in the placebo group was –5.2 mmHg (millimeters of mercury).
The reduction in the mouthwash group was much lower. It also showed an average of –2.0 mmHg. This shows that the use of antibacterial mouthwash (0.2 percent chlorhexidine) reduces systolic blood pressure reduction by over 60 percent.
At the end of the monitoring window, two hours after the treadmill session, the mouthwash group showed no signs of a decrease in blood pressure from exercise, while the placebo group still showed a significant decrease compared to pre-workout values.
“This is the first evidence to show that the nitrate-lowering activity of oral bacteria is a key mechanism for inducing an acute cardiovascular response to exercise during recovery in healthy individuals.” He made statements.
While it is only a small study, this study showed that not all bacteria are that bad for us, and that the use of antibacterial chemicals that significantly kill off microbes living in the mouth can inhibit important biological processes necessary for health.
“These findings suggest that nitrite synthesis by oral bacteria is crucial to how our bodies respond to exercise during the initial recovery period by promoting lower blood pressure and greater muscle oxygenation,” said one of the team.
“Actually, oral bacteria are like the ‘key’ to open blood vessels. If this is opened, nitrite cannot be produced and the vessels remain present. ”