A new study is suggesting that mouthwash may not only be an aid in freshening breath and reducing cavities, but it may also be a player in eradicating COVID-19. And no, that doesn’t mean you should go hoarding it off store shelves like the toilet paper fiasco this past March.
The preliminary findings of a study by researchers at Cardiff University, based in the United Kingdom, found that over-the-counter mouthwashes were able to kill the coronavirus during a 30-second exposure in a lab.
Though it has not yet been tested in actual humans who have the virus, and the study has yet to be peer-reviewed, researchers who led the study said that the findings are pushing forward emerging research about the prospect of mouthwash as an effective tool to kill off the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (COVID-19), and other related coronaviruses.
Other studies, such as one by the same team of Cardiff University researchers in May 2020, also suggested that oral rinses should be considered a way of reducing coronavirus transmission.
“This study adds to the emerging literature that several commonly-available mouthwashes designed to fight gum disease can also inactivate the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (and other related coronaviruses) when tested in the laboratory under conditions that are designed to mimic the oral/nasal cavity in a test tube,” Dr. Richard Stanton, who led the study, said, as quoted by the BBC.
Mouthwashes tested in the study include Listerine Advanced and versions of Dentyl, a UK-based brand, which had either 0.07%-0.1% cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) or 23% ethanol, both of which are active ingredients in common mouthwashes and typically help kill germs associated with bad breath.
While these products are shown to be effective in a lab, they will now be the subject of clinical studies — which expect results early next year — that will test how they work in patients and how long the effects may last, according to researchers of the study.