Mouthwashes: can they help prevent the spread of Covid?

A study has found that cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) mouthwashes help break down the virus that causes covid.

The covid pandemic has generated a lot of research looking for solutions to combat or prevent the coronavirus. One of the most explored areas is that of mouthwashes. Its effectiveness was suspected, but there are already conclusive studies that mouthwashes with Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) contributes to the degradation of the virus responsible for covid.

The effectiveness of CPC mouthwashes

A clinical trial published in the journal Journal of Clinical Periodontology has been shown that rinsing for 60 seconds with mouthwashes containing 0.07% CPC reduces the amount of infectious viruses in saliva such as SARS-CoV-2.

The study opens a door to assess whether this reduction in viral load could be useful for prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

CPC is a antiseptican agent antiplaque and a toxin neutralizer. It also enhances the effect of chlorhexidine, another reference substance to treat gum disinfection and control dental plaque. In previous laboratory tests, it had already been proven to reduce the infectivity of the coronavirus up to a thousand times.

The mouth is the gateway to the virus

The mouth is one of the main entry routes for SARS-CoV-2 and represents a key site of transmission. replication and the increased viral load before it reaches the bronchi or lungs due to the presence of ACE2 receptors, which are the entry point of the virus to the cells. It should not be forgotten that the severity of the disease is linked to a higher viral load. The mouth is also the exit door of the virus since the aerosols released through it help the spread of the virus promoting contagion.

The covid virus is susceptible to chemicals

It is known that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is very sensitive to the oxidation processes of chemical agents such as hydrogen peroxide, povidone iodine, alcohol or cetylperidine chloride, among others”, emphasizes Dr. Óscar Castro Reino, President of the General Council of Dentists.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, it was suspected that these mouthwash ingredients could affect the lipid membrane of SARS-CoV-2 and to inactivate it, which led to the study of what these ingredients are and at what concentrations they could be used.

In fact, even when clinical studies were not available to support that these mouthwashes had any real effectiveness in preventing contagion, “the vast majority of protocols (including that of the General Council of Dentists of Spain) incorporate it into their recommendationsexplains Dr. Óscar Castro Reino.

What types of mouthwashes have been studied against covid

“The most commonly recommended chemical agents internationally are 1% hydrogen peroxide, 0.2% povidone iodine or 0.05-0.1% cetylperidinium chloride.explains Dr. Castro Reino.

In the case of chlorhexidine, one of the most widely used antiseptics in dentistry to control dental plaque and gingivitis, “there is reasonable doubt as to its usefulness for prevention against SARS-CoV-2, since it does not act on viruses or bacteria embedded in the biofilm or present in the nasopharynx”explains the doctor.

Finally, the study carried out by researchers from the Aragon Health Service, the Aragon Health Research Institute and the DENTAID Research Center, showed that one-minute mouthwashes with cetylperidinium chloride 0.07% (slightly more than recommended) reduce the amount of infectious virus in saliva.

Use of mouthwash in the dental office

In dental consultation, “in general terms, and Long before the appearance of COVID-19, resorting to the use of antiseptic mouthwashes before starting oral treatment was a common practice among many dentists in order to reduce the viral and bacterial load.comments Dr. Castro Reino.

There are many mouthwashes with different compositions that do not replace brushing your teeth. When choosing one of these products for oral hygiene at home, the doctor reminds us that The use of mouthwashes should always be carried out under the prescription of the dentist. and that their self-consumption must be avoided”.


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