People who gargle with antiseptic mouthwash twice a day are less at risk of developing health complications, latest research has shown.

A recent study from Osaka University in Japan has found that regular gargling can fight bacteria that causes ongoing inflammation in the mouth that is known to trigger serious health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes or Alzheimer’s disease.

The numbers of periodontitis-related bacteria in people with type 2 diabetes decreased after they gargled with an antiseptic mouthwash, the study has reported.

According to the results, reducing this bacterium was also found to help people with type 2 diabetes better control their blood sugar levels.

First author Saaya Matayoshi said: “There are three highly virulent bacterial species that are linked to periodontitis, or diseases of the tissues surrounding the teeth.

“We decided to see if we could reduce these three species – Porphyromonas gingivalis, Treponema denticola, and Tannerella forsythia – in people with type 2 diabetes using a mouthwash containing the antiseptic chlorhexidine gluconate.”

During the investigation, the team of researchers examined regular blood and saliva samples from 173 adults.

They used the saliva to analyse the presence or absence of the three bacterial species.

Meanwhile, they used the blood samples to measure HbA1c levels as a marker of blood-sugar control.

Each participant gargled with water for the first six months and then gargled with antiseptic mouthwash for the remaining six months.

Fellow author Kazuhiko Nakano said: “We were unsurprised to see that gargling with water had no effects on bacterial species or HbA1c levels.

“However, there was an overall reduction in bacterial species when the patients switched to mouthwash, as long as they were gargling at least twice a day.”

Experts believe that antiseptic mouthwash could be beneficial for people living with periodontitis-linked diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, respiratory tract infections and dementia.

Read the study in the journal Scientific Reports.

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