Scientists Suggest Mouthwash Could Protect Against COVID-19, Here’s How
4Researchers and scientists have been urging for further research
Lead author and co-director of Cardiff University’s Systems Immunity Research Institute, Professor O’Donnell said that “Safe use of mouthwash as in gargling has so far not been considered by public health bodies in the UK. In test-tube experiments and limited clinical studies, some mouthwashes contain enough of known virucidal ingredients to effectively target lipids in similar enveloped viruses”.
5More research is being carried out
He explained that they still do not know if the mouthwashes available have any potential against the lipid membrane of SARS-CoV-2. More research on this subject is urgently required to determine if it can be potentially used against the coronavirus. He hopes that this research project can be mobilized as soon as possible to evaluate this subject.
6The chemicals in mouthwashes do have some potential in preventing the coronavirus
The ingredients contained in dental mouthwashes and other chemicals like chlorhexidine, povidone-iodine, hydrogen peroxide, and cetylpyridinium chloride are all good at preventing infections by destroying them before they spread. According to the researchers, several mouthwashes and similar chemicals even ‘deserve clinical evaluation’.
How it works
These chemicals manage to disrupt the outer lipid membrane or the ‘viral envelope’ or ‘lipid envelope’ of the SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19. This lipid envelope is the main element which allows several viruses and the coronaviruses to bind themselves to human cells while preventing the host immune system from doing anything to stop it. On the envelope’s surface, there are specific spike proteins called ‘glycoproteins’ which identify and bind to receptor sites on the host’s cell membrane. This causes the cells to get infected and thereafter the infection to spread to other cells as well.
7How can mouthwash help in preventing COVID-19
The ability of the spike glycoproteins to interact with the host cells receptors can be potentially modified by mouthwash chemicals. But, the potential role of damaging the fatty membrane as a possible way to inactivate the virus is still a topic to be discussed by researchers. If the virus were to mutate the lipid envelop will still remain the same. There won’t be any change in the mutated virus’ lipid envelop which is why mouthwash may still be able to effective against any new coronavirus strains that could possibly emerge from this pandemic.
The suggestion of mouthwash possibly being able to prevent the infection of the coronavirus causing COVID-19 was previously debunked by the WHO. The WHO said- “Some brands of mouthwash can eliminate certain microbes for a few minutes in the saliva in your mouth. However, this does not mean they protect you from 2019-nCoV infection.”