Can mouthwashes kill the COVID-19 virus? lets discuss

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, several pieces of research are being conducted across the world to find ways to curb the pandemic spread. Many of the experimental study results were valid and widely accepted whereas some raised opposition from the medical society.

One such finding is that the mouthwashes have some special properties which have the potential to kill the deadly coronavirus. Some researchers claim that mouthwash can reduce the oral existence of SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19.

The initial research was conducted to examine if the level of COVID-19 virus in a patient’s saliva can be reduced by using mouthwashes.

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Recently, it was reported that the researchers of Cardiff University in the UK found that an antiseptic compound CetylPyridinium Chloride (CPC) which is present in the mouthwashes shows positive signs of reducing COVID-19. Initially, the trial is done using a single mouthwash brand and the detailed findings are expected to be published by 2021.

The popular personal care products manufacturers Colgate is also testing to validate that the oral health products have the capacity to slow the spread of the virus. The recent laboratory studies of Colgate shows that zinc or stannous present in the toothpaste and CPC in mouthwashes can neutralize the COVID-19 virus by 99.99 percent.

Expert opinion

However, some medical experts are highly skeptical about these findings as the ingredients in mouthwash cannot completely clear out the source of the virus from the human body.

According to Dr. Donald Milton, who studies the transmission of viruses at the University of Maryland, once the virus got into the human body, it will start to replicate in the upper respiratory tract. Even if the mouthwash clears the virus particles from the oral cavity, it will be in the nose, the sinuses, the throat, bronchial tubes and lungs.

“It is still in your nose, in the fluid on your vocal cords and in your lung airways. All of these and especially the vocal cords and lung airways are major sources of the virus in the air. ” Dr. Milton added.

Dr. Graham Snyder, associate professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, says that theoretically mouthwashes and other oral rinses have the capacity to reduce the presence of virus or bacteria in the mouth. But its effect will only stay for a fairly small period, it is not at all possible to completely sterilize a human mouth as the microbe will grow back faster.

There are only two proven chances for the virus to enter into a human body, the first is through contact and the other is inhalation. As per medical experts, “washing your mouth or nose won’t prevent the virus from being breathed in. But wearing a mask and keeping good physical distance does.”

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