Mouthwash can kill coronavirus within 30 seconds of being exposed to it in a lab, a scientific study indicates.
Scientists at Cardiff University found there were “promising signs” that over-the-counter mouthwashes may help to destroy the virus.
The study comes ahead of a clinical trail on Covid-19 on patients at the University Hospital on Wales.
Dr Nick Claydon said the study could lead to mouthwash becoming an important part of people’s daily routines.
If the results were positive, using mouthwash could be used alongside handwashing, social distancing and wearing masks, the specialist periodontologist said .
The university report states that mouthwashes containing at least 0.07% cetypyridinium chloride (CPC) showed “promising signs” of being able to combat the virus when exposed to the virus in a lab.
While the report is yet to be peer reviewed, it supports another recent study which found CPC-based mouthwashes are effective in reducing viral load.
A clinical trial will look at whether it is helps to reduce levels of the virus in the saliva of Covid-19 patients at the hospital in Cardiff, with results expected early next year.
Prof David Thomas, who is leading the study, said the initial results were encouraging, but the clinical trial would not produce evidence of how to prevent transmission between patients.
“Whilst these 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 said.
“The ongoing clinical study will, however, show us how long any effects last, following a single administration of the mouthwash in patients with Covid-19.”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.”