Having good oral hygiene is important for many reasons, but one of the most important reasons to have good oral hygiene is because it can directly impact your cardiovascular system. New studies have come out with information that shows the population of bacteria you have in your mouth is just as important as the population you have in your gut. It is often called a microbiome when referring to the intestinal bacterial population, and its oral counterpart is called an oral microbiome.
A microbiome describes all the bacteria that are present in your intestinal system or your mouth. It encompasses both the good and bad bacteria. Having an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria means that you can have health issues if the good bacteria is unable to keep up with the bad bacteria. If the bad bacteria proliferates and ends up taking up the majority of the bacterial population, problems with digestion can occur.
Likewise, if bad bacteria is allowed to take over the oral microbiome, it can cause a variety of problems. It is so in tune with the cardiovascular system that a new study has found out that it also impacts your blood pressure directly. The oral bacteria can determine whether your blood pressure will be normal or not because it works directly with nitric oxide, a chemical which controls and regulates blood pressure.
To test this hypothesis, the scientists who worked on this study decided to have participants exercise and use mouthwash, while a group of people exercised without using mouthwash. They were trying to find out why blood pressure is lower after you exercise. They found out that the people who used mouthwash didn’t have their blood pressure readings after exercise as low as the other group.
The mouthwash wiped out all the bacteria in the mouth, for a short time. Without having the good and bad bacteria in the mouth, they were unable to influence and lower the blood pressure. It’s unlikely that you will need to adjust anything about your exercise routine or how you use mouthwash, but it did point scientists in a new direction and make it easier to understand how the oral microbiome works.