Study Finds Mouthwash Effective at Killing Coronavirus Variant

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Whether visiting a dental practice in Colorado Springs or heading to the grocery store, the continuous risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 has led many people to make significant changes to their daily routines. Public health officials continue to recommend that people wear masks while out in public, and that they maintain at least 6 feet of distance between themselves and strangers. While these steps will help to minimize the spread COVID-19, they may not be the only ones you can take to reduce your risk of infection.

Certain brands of nasal rinses and mouthwashes have been found to successfully kill a type of virus that’s very similar to the coronavirus, according to the results of a recent study. If the results of this study can be verified, it could offer people one more tool for protecting their health when at a dental practice in Colorado Springs or any other local business.

However, researchers involved in the study were quick to point out that the use of mouthwash or a nasal rinse should in no way replace the wearing of masks or the practice of social distancing. The team from Penn State College of Medicine recommended that these types of remedies could be used in addition to steps most people already take to limit the spread of the virus.

An Investigation into Antibacterial Properties Brings an Interesting Result

At first, researchers began testing how long it would take certain types of disinfectants to begin working once the product came into contact with a surface. After discovering that the disinfectants went to work almost immediately destroying certain types of bacteria, the research team decided to expand the scope of their study by using a similar strain of coronavirus as what causes COVID-19.

“While there are clear difference in the pathogenicity of the viruses, they are in the same virus family, have very similar structures, and are both human respiratory pathogens,” wrote researchers in the Journal of Medical Virology.

During the expanded experiment, researchers created cells grown from human tissue and then exposed those cells to the virus. They then subjected the virus to several common, over-the-counter brands of mouthwash and oral rinses for periods of 30 seconds, 1 minute, and 2 minutes, and then measured how much of the virus was destroyed or made inactive.

Some of the different types of products the research team tested included:

  • Baby shampoo: Used as a nasal rinse for purposes of the study, certain brands of baby shampoo made 99.9 percent of the virus inactive after the full 2 minutes.
  • Oral rinse: All of the oral rinse brands the researchers tested that contained hydrogen peroxide as their active ingredient were between 90 percent and 99 percent effective depending on the amount of time the virus was exposed.
  • Mouthwash: Most all brands of mouthwash made 99.9 percent of the virus inactive after just 30 seconds of exposure.
  • Antiseptic: Perhaps least surprising, antiseptics used to clean wounds were also highly effective, eliminating 99.9 percent of the virus after just 30 seconds of exposure.

Among the different brands researchers tested, Johnson & Johnson repeatedly scored well across multiple test of products for killing the virus.

Protecting Your Health

Even though wearing masks to visit our dental practice in Colorado Springs will remain the norm for a little while longer, using the types of products listed above may be able to provide a little more additional protection.

“We would suggest that these products be an added layer of protection against the infection and the spread of COVID-19,” concluded the research team.

The additional or supplemental use of mouthwash can even provide your oral health with a boost, as most brands do a great job eliminating other types of harmful bacteria that contribute to tooth decay and gum disease.

If you have any questions about the best ways to protect your health during the current pandemic, feel free to ask us about what more you can do during your next visit to Family Dentistry of Colorado Springs.