Multiple mouthwashes that now are commercially available have reduced the level of SARS-CoV-2 in a laboratory setting, according to the York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Public Health England (PHE).
Healthcare workers remain at an increased risk of infection by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in part due to their working in close proximity to patient airways. The researchers wanted to establish if using a pre-procedural mouthwash could reduce that risk.
The researchers found that multiple over-the-counter mouthwashes do reduce SARS-CoV-2 levels in a laboratory setting, including:
- Ecolabs Chlorhexidine Gluconate Antiseptic Mouthwash (Peppermint Flavor)
- GlaxoSmithKline Corsodyl (Alcohol Free Mint Flavor)
- Johnson and Johnson Listerine Advance Defense Sensitive
- Johnson and Johnson Listerine Total Care
- Aqualution Systems OraWize+
- Colgate Peroxyl
- Huddersfield Pharmacy Specials Povident
The best performing mouthwashes now will be used in a randomized controlled clinical trial to see how effective they are in patients and how long their effect lasts.
“The findings that certain mouthwashes can kill the coronavirus has potentially positive implications for infection prevention and control, particularly in the dental profession,” said Dr. Marian Killip of PHE.
“If confirmed by evidence from real-world trials, this simple solution could make it far easier for dentists and hygienists to keep seeing patients safely during the pandemic,” said Killip.
“The mouthwashes that we found can kill coronavirus in a laboratory will now be studied in patients,” said David Seymour, consultant in oral rehabilitation at York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
“This will tell us how well the mouthwashes perform in the real world and also how long the effects last. This simple procedure could be a useful mitigation against coronavirus for the dental sector and potentially other close contact sectors,” Seymour said.
The study, “Effective in vitro Inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 by Commercially Available Mouthwashes,” was published by the Journal of General Virology.