Study suggests mouthwash could help to reduce Covid-19 transmission

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A new study suggests that using mouthwash could help to reduce Covid-19 transmission.

Researchers at Cardiff University found that mouthwash could potentially lower the risk of transmission, as well as playing a part in destroying the outer layer of the virus, known as ‘the envelope.’ Covid-19 is one of a number of enveloped viruses, which have an external lipid membrane in common. 

Professor Valerie O’Donnell, lead author and co-director of the Systems and Immunity Research Centre at Cardiff University, explained that studies indicate that some types of mouthwash are able to target similar enveloped viruses. In light of this, Prof O’Donnell is calling for urgent research to be undertaken to determine whether it would be possible to use mouthwash for Covid-19. 

Dr Saul Konviser, from the Dental Wellness Trust, said that the idea was interesting, but backed Prof O’Donnell’s requests for further research to be undertaken. Dr Konviser encouraged the use of mouthwashes that contain hydrogen peroxide and also urged members of the public to keep their toothbrushes clean. Using hot water or a teaspoon of vinegar can help to sterilise brush heads, which is beneficial for reducing the risk of contracting the virus. 

The importance of oral hygiene has also been raised by Professor Martin Addy, from the University of Bristol. Prof Addy wrote an article in the national press recently, urging people to brush their teeth before leaving home or going out to work and dentists to spread oral hygiene messages among patients. 

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