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Since its advent in December 2019, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused 1,619,801 deaths, affecting over 72,691,995 people. Covid-19 can affect anyone, causing symptoms ranging from mild to very severe, where some people may be more likely to have severe illness than others because they have characteristics or medical conditions that increase their risk.
In the earlier months of the virus outbreak, there has been plenty of misinformation surrounding what can prevent Covid-19 onset and the things that can increase your risk of contracting the virus. One of these claims where that mouthwash can kill the coronavirus.
June 2020: Some Scientists Claim Mouthwash Can Kill SARS-CoV-2
According to a published in the journal Function, it was said that as mouthwash can disrupt or damage the outer layer of other viruses and viruses that have a lipid membrane (viruses will cell barriers), it could have a similar effect on SARS-CoV-2, possibly helping to reduce transmission . However, this claim was disregarded by many health experts and scientists at that time.
December 2020: New Study Claims Mouthwash Can Kill SARS-CoV-2
In a recent study, which is not yet peer-reviewed, the researchers from Cardiff University, UK explored the effect of common mouthwashes on SARS-CoV-2 in laboratory settings . The researchers claimed that mouthwash, three common types of mouthwash, to be exact can kill the coronavirus in as little as 30 seconds.
So, Can Mouthwash Really Kill The Coronavirus?
Well, that depends. The study was able to show that types of mouthwash with certain active ingredients have shown to possess the ability to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 in vitro (in laboratory settings). The mouthwash brands that were used for the study are as follows:
• Dentyl Dual Action
• Dentyl Fresh Protect
• Listerine Cool Mint
• Listerine Advanced Gum Treatment
• SCD Max
These brands and types of mouthwash demonstrated a wide spectrum of inactivation ability. These are the prominent findings from the study:
• Two products containing cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), and the mouthwash containing ethyl lauroyl arginate (LAE) eradicated the virus completely after a 30-second treatment.
• Mouthwashes containing iodinated povidone had a moderate effect on the virus.
• Another mouthwash containing a mix of ethanol and essential oils also just a moderate effect on the virus.
• Mouthwashes containing ethanol alone, or chlorhexidine did not have an effect on the virus.
On ascertaining the views and points gathered from the study, it can be concluded that the researchers are not saying that mouthwash can be used an as effective measure against the coronavirus and further raised the need for vivo testing .
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), "Some brands of mouthwash can eliminate certain microbes for a few minutes in the saliva in your mouth. However, this does not mean they protect you from infection ."
More Studies To Understand The Possible Effect Of Mouthwash On COVID-19
A clinical trial will look at whether it helps to reduce levels of the virus in the saliva of Covid-19 patients at the hospital in Cardiff, with results expected early (2021) next year. "Whilst these mouthwashes very effectively eradicate the virus in the laboratory, we need to see if they work in patients and this is the point of our ongoing clinical study," said the head researcher .
The ongoing clinical study will, however, show us how long any effects last, following a single administration of the mouthwash in patients with Covid-19. The researcher added, "we need to understand if the effect of over-the-counter mouthwashes on the Covid-19 virus achieved in the laboratory can be reproduced in patients ."
On A Final Note...
While the study findings stand in line with the claim that mouthwash can kill the coronavirus, a majority of health experts and doctors advise that stocking up on bottles of mouthwash is not going to protect you from the respiratory illness and to follow the necessary safety measures. More studies are being conducted to determine any potential effects of mouthwash on reducing the risk of virus exposure in 'real-life' and not just in a lab setting.