CBS Local — A new study is warning mouthwash users to take it easy on the commonly used dental hygiene routine. Researchers at Harvard say using mouthwash products more than once a day can greatly increase your risk of developing diabetes.

Professor Kamudi Joshipura of Harvard’s School of Public Health says the fresh-tasting cleaners kill both harmful and helpful bacteria in the mouth; some of which protect the body against obesity and diabetes. “Most of these antibacterial ingredients in mouthwash are not selective… they do not target specific oral bacteria. Instead, these ingredients can act on a broad range of bacteria,” the professor of epidemiology said, via the Evening Standard.

The study, published in the journal Nitric Oxide, estimates that a person using mouthwash twice a day was increasing their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by as much as 55 percent. The experiment found that nearly a third of the people who reported using mouthwash multiple times each day had been diagnosed with the disease after a three-year follow-up.

“The indiscriminate routine use of antibacterial mouthwash products may cause more harm than good,” the study concluded.

Previous studies have linked overusing mouthwash products to a spike in blood pressure as well. A 2013 experiment found that the drop in oral nitrite and blood nitrite levels made a patient’s blood pressure spike after just one week of using an antibacterial mouthwash.

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