Online nutrition coach Max Lugavere has warned his followers not to use antiseptic mouthwash. He claims it destroys bacteria in your mouth that are crucial for insulin signalling and keeping your blood pressure in check.
Longevity, nutrition, brain health and performance guru Max Lugavere has taken to social media with a warning. Lugavere, who is a New York Times best selling author (and has a background as a science journalist), says that antiseptic mouth wash is best chucked in the bin, rather than used.
He told his 502k followers: “Antiseptic mouthwash destroys oral bacteria that are essential for insulin signaling and keeping your blood pressure healthy.”
“Don’t use it! (Or at least do so infrequently).”
This was accompanied by a cheeky video in which Lugavere claims to show how to use mouth wash, before simply pouring some down the sink and throwing the rest of the bottle in the bin (see below).
Instagram user @caromeloalzua commented on the post, “As a dentist, THANK YOU.” Another Instagram user, @drsdestefanoraziano, wrote: “I agree! Just brush and floss well! And I’m a Dentist!”
Another social media user wrote: “Woah. Shit lol it’s my nightly routine!!”
Yet another said: “But my breath stinks.”
Lugavere isn’t the only one to be sceptical about mouth wash. As one Quora user wrote a number of years ago (which Forbes shared in 2018): “Any mouthwash that claims to be ‘antiseptic’ or ‘anti-bacterial’ is a bad idea.”
“Assuming it really does kill bacteria, it kills them indiscriminately. Only a few of the bacteria in your mouth are harmful (i.e., cause illness or cavities). The rest are part of the environment you are evolved to live in and form part of your body’s first line of defence against pathogens.”
“If you kill all the bacteria in your mouth, you are leaving a hole in your immunity that something else can come along and fill. There are times when this is worth it—say when disinfecting a wound, but as a part of daily hygiene, it’s not the best idea.”
The same Quora user added: “There is no medical reason for most people to use mouthwash. Most people do so because they think it will improve their breath, however, if your have bad breath that doesn’t resolve with brushing and flossing, mouthwash it like spraying perfume in a stinky bathroom—you need instead to solve the problem.”
“For many, that’s cryptic tonsils, incompletely closed wisdom tooth extraction pits, or some underlying disease or infection.”
Healthline, meanwhile, says, “mouthwash isn’t bad for you, per se.” Healthline says that mouth wash can freshen your breath and treat halitosis, reduce your risk of gum disease, reduce plaque build up to prevent cavities and make your teeth look visibly whiter.
That said, Healthline also states that mouth wash may cause or irritate canker sores, cause a dry mouth, cause burning or pain when you use it, remove your healthy oral microbiome and (again, may) be linked with increased cancer risk.
There you have it. Time to get brushing.