Normal mouthwashes kill coronavirus, a pioneering study partly based at York Hospital has discovered.
Healthcare professionals are at an increased risk of infection by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, in part due to working in close proximity to patient’s airways.
Researchers at York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Public Health England wanted to establish if using a pre-procedural mouthwash reduces that risk.
The teams involving David Seymour and Peter Nixon from York NHS Trust, and Dr Marian Killip of Public Health England, have shown multiple over the counter mouthwashes do reduce levels of the virus in a laboratory setting.
The best performing mouthwashes will now be taken forward and used in a randomised controlled clinical trial to see how effective the mouthwashes are in patients and how long their effect lasts.
Dr Killip said: “The findings that certain mouthwashes can kill the coronavirus has potentially positive implications for infection prevention and control, particularly in the dental profession.
“If confirmed by evidence from real world trials, this simple solution could make it far easier for dentists and hygienists to keep seeing patients safely during the pandemic.”
Mr Seymour, consultant in oral rehabilitation, said: “The mouthwashes, that we found can kill coronavirus in a laboratory, will now be studied in patients.
“This will tell us how well the mouthwashes perform in the real world and also how long the effects last. This simple procedure could be a useful mitigation against coronavirus for the dental sector and potentially other close contact sectors.”