Coronavirus Myth Busted: Using a mouthwash won’t kill the virus or prevent COVID-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) has already made its statement that neither panning nor gargling with mouthwash can kill the COVID-19 virus.

Lack of a vaccine or a cure for COVID-19 Infection has led people to experiment with different methods to deal with the virus. While some are sipping hot tea to keep their throats “clean”, others pour mustard oil into their noses – but none of them has been shown to be effective against the infectious disease.

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Representative picture. Getty Images

Recently, researchers at Cardiff University, UK, made another claim about how mouthwash might help kill the virus. According to the researchers, mouthwash can break down the virus’ s outer layer of fat, thereby deactivating it. However, they have done limited test tube and clinical studies and have yet to investigate the effectiveness of the mouthwashes that are present.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has already made its statement that neither panning nor gargling with mouthwash can kill you COVID-19 Virus. There are no studies to show the effectiveness of any type of mouthwash against the novel Coronavirus , yet.

Different types of mouthwashes

Mouthwash is an addition to other oral hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing. Mouthwashes are used by many people on a daily basis. There are two types of mouthwash available on the market: cosmetic and therapeutic.

Cosmetic mouthwashes are those that don’t require a prescription and only help mask bad breath. They can leave an unpleasant aftertaste.

Therapeutic mouthwashes are usually prescribed by dentists after deep dandruff or gum surgery. They contain cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine, essential oils, fluoride and peroxide.

How mouthwash works

Cosmetic mouthwashes have no medicinal value; they only help eliminate bad breath. However, therapeutic mouthwashes can kill many strains of bacteria that are present in the oral cavity. Chlorhexidine digluconate (0.2%) is the most commonly prescribed mouthwash for therapeutic purposes.

Cetylpyridinium chloride, found in therapeutic mouthwashes, helps reduce bad breath, while chlorhexidine helps control plaque and inflammation in the gums (gingivitis). Fluoride has the ability to prevent cavities in the teeth. Peroxide is an agent that helps whiten teeth.

Therapeutic mouthwash can reduce the bacterial load in the mouth, but has not yet shown any effect on viruses.

For more information, see our article below COVID-19 Myths and the Truth About Them.

Health articles in Firstpost are authored by, India’s first and largest source of verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to inform you about all aspects of health.

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