There Are More Uses for Mouthwash Photo: AARP

Mouthwash could reduce risk of spreading COVID-19, says study

*Researchers tested 8 different mouthwashes containing different ingredients with consumers

*It isn’t a viable treatment option for those already infected with Coronavirus

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

A fresh study by researchers from Ruhr University has found that mouthwash could be an effective way for consumers to reduce the spread of the novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The ingredients found in many easily accessible mouthwashes, report says, were found to be effective in clearing the throat and mouth of germs, but they weren’t necessarily effective as a protective agent or as a treatment option for those who have already contracted the virus, says agency report.

Researcher Toni Meister said of the study finding that “gargling with a mouthwash cannot inhibit the production of viruses in the cells, but could reduce the viral load in the short term where the greatest potential for infection comes from, namely in the oral cavity and throat ─and this could be used in certain situations, such as at the dentist or during the medical care of COVID-19 patients.”

But how can mouthwash be effective in this regard? ConsumerConnect reports researchers explained that the mouth and throat can contain the most infectious Coronavirus germs.

So, they sought to determine if gargling with mouthwash would be a successful approach to lowering the germ count.

In order to determine the effectiveness of mouthwash in reducing the spread of COVID-19, the researchers also tested eight different mouthwashes that all contained different ingredients.

They started by combining a sample of each mouthwash with Coronavirus-infected cells. The mixture was shaken for 30 seconds, which is typically how long consumers would gargle with mouthwash, according to report.

The next step was for the researchers to perform a cell culture test, which allowed them to assess whether infectious cells cropped up following the gargling process.

If the mouthwash worked, no new COVID-19 cells would multiply; however, if it didn’t work, the virus would continue to grow.

Ultimately, mouthwash was effective in keeping COVID-19 at bay. In all eight samples, the mouthwash successfully killed all Coronavirus-related germs.

In fact, three of the mouthwashes eliminated all traces of the virus after less than one minute of “gargling.”

Nonetheless, Meister stated that mouthwash can’t be used to treat patients already diagnosed with Coronavirus.

These findings though are important because they show that mouthwash can be effective at lowering the risk of transmission in shorter spans of time.

The researchers are currently doing more work to better determine the effect mouthwash can have on COVID-19, and they plan to see if there are any long-term applications.

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