New research suggests mouthwash can kill coronavirus within just 30 seconds of being exposed to it in a laboratory.
The preliminary study results come ahead of a clinical trial, which will look at whether or not mouthwash bought over the counter could reduce levels of coronavirus in a person’s saliva.
The Cardiff University research report - named The Virucidal Efficacy of Oral Rinse Components Against SARS-CoV-2 In Vitro - said that mouthwashes which contain at least 0.07 per cent of cetypyridinium chloride (CPC) showed “promising signs” of tackling the virus.
Cetypyridinium chloride is commonly used as an active ingredient in various mouthwashes, toothpastes, mouth sprays and lozenges, and can help prevent gingivitis and the buildup of plaque. CPC can help to fight bacteria, as well as treating sore throats and reducing or preventing infections.
The research was carried out by scientists at the university's laboratory, using a range of mouthwashes, including UK mouthwash brand, Dentyl.
Next, a clinical trial will examine how effective mouthwash is in reducing the viral load in the saliva of patients with Covid-19 at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.
Viral load is the number of viral particles being carried by an infected individual.
The 12 week long clinical trial - which is led by Professor David Thomas from Cardiff University and named ‘The measurement of mouthwash anti-viral activity against Covid-19’ - will again include Dently. This is the only UK mouthwash brand to take part in the trial.
Results should be published in early 2021.
Dr Thomas explained that, although the “mouthwashes very effectively eradicate the virus in the laboratory, we need to see if they work in patients and this is the point of our ongoing clinical study.”
He added, “We need to understand if the effect of over-the-counter mouthwashes on the Covid-19 virus achieved in the laboratory can be reproduced in patients, and we look forward to completing our clinical trial in early 2021."