Send to

Choose Destination
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2019 Sep 23:1-13. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2019.1665495. [Epub ahead of print]

Influence of mouth rinse use on the enterosalivary pathway and blood pressure regulation: A systematic review.

Author information

Department of Human Nutrition, The University of Alabama , Tuscaloosa , Alabama , USA.


The enterosalivary nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide (NO) pathway results in systemic generation of NO from dietary inorganic nitrate to promote vasodilation and blood pressure regulation. Commensal bacteria in the oral cavity with nitrate-reducing properties underpin the efficiency of this pathway, as they facilitate the reduction of nitrate to nitrite-a critical activation step preceding NO formation. However, common antibacterial mouth rinses rid the oral cavity of these bacteria and, thus, may have local and systemic consequences. The purpose of this systematic review was to investigate the relationship between mouth rinse use and salivary or plasma nitrates/nitrites, as well as blood pressure. A systematic review was conducted utilizing PubMed and EBSCOhost databases to identify publications evaluating mouth rinse use on salivary and/or plasma nitrate/nitrite concentrations and blood pressure. In addition to inclusion of the aforementioned outcome measures, studies must have been published in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals. Data extraction and quality assessment were independently conducted by the Authors with tools created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Methods were registered with the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (CRD42019125081). Eight studies were identified for critical appraisal, including 5 human crossover studies and 3 animal studies with controls, published between 2009 and 2016. All human studies and two of the three animal studies revealed deleterious effects of an antibacterial mouth rinse on at least one of the outcome measures. For example, in human studies comparing antibacterial mouth rinses to control, 5 of 5 studies and 3 of 5 studies reported reduced salivary and plasma nitrite concentrations, respectively, and 4 of 5 studies observed increased blood pressure. Likewise, 2 of 3 animal studies reported reduced plasma nitrite compared to control as well as increased blood pressure. Differential effects on outcome measures were noted in mouth rinses of varying strengths and compositions. Results suggest that the utilization of an antibacterial mouth rinse negatively alters concentrations of salivary and plasma nitrate/nitrite with a concomitant rise in blood pressure. Acknowledging the rising prevalence of hypertension, future research is warranted to develop functional mouth rinses that support oral and cardiovascular health, as well as nutrition interventions to optimize the enterosalivary pathway for blood pressure regulation.


Mouth rinse; blood pressure; enterosalivary pathway; mouthwash; nitrates

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center