Mouthwash use in ICU and hospitalised patients.

26 Nov 2020

Breaking News!

Our Honorary BTCCRC member, Prof Stijn Blot from Belgium, has released a hypothesis that may throw light on why antiseptic mouthwashes are associated with increased risk of death in hospitalized patients. In ICUs, patients are given mouthwashes for oral health maintenance. He hypothesises that a disturbance in nitric oxide pathway by antiseptic mouthwashes may be responsible for the observed increase in mortality risk. Nitric oxide is essential in multiple physiological processes, and a reduction in nitric oxide availability is associated with the occurrence or worsening of conditions, such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, and sepsis. Oral anaerobic bacteria are essential for the enterosalivary nitrate–nitrite–nitric oxide pathway due to their capacity to reduce nitrate to nitrite. Because antiseptic mouthwashes eradicate the oral bacterial flora, this nitric oxide-generating pathway is abolished, which may result in nitric oxide-deficient conditions potentially leading to life-threatening complications such as ischaemic heart events or sepsis. To view the artcile, please click on the link