A preliminary study has found that one mouthwash has been found to kill the coronavirus within 30 seconds. Researchers from Cardiff University have surmised that a mouthwash that has 0.07% cetypyridinium chloride (CPC) exhibited “promising signs” of killing the virus within a laboratory setting.
While the study still needs to be peer-reviewed, the early results are a good sign. Dr. Nick Claydon, a specialist periodontologist, spoke with the BBC to discuss what these premature findings mean. He said, “If these positive results are reflected in Cardiff University’s clinical trial, CPC-based mouthwashes … could become an important addition to people’s routine, together with hand washing, physical distancing and wearing masks, both now and in the future.”
Scientists urged that while evidence has been found to kill the virus in saliva, this is not an effective treatment for COVID-19 as it does not reach the respiratory tract.
“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 is the lead author on the study, told the BBC.
He continues, “This study is not yet peer-reviewed and published which means it has not yet been scrutinized by other scientists as is the usual process with academic research. It has now been submitted for publication in a journal. People should continue to follow the preventive measures issued by the UK government, including washing hands frequently and maintaining social distance.”
The next step of the study is to conduct clinical trials to deduce whether or not mouthwash will be able to reduce the levels of the virus in a patient who already has COVID-19. The BBC reports that scientists expect to have results early next year.