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Mouthwashes may be preventive in the transmission of COVID-19

Mouthwashes help reduce the severity of COVID-19.

Mouthwashes may be preventive in the transmission of COVID-19

Research has reviewed the available scientific evidence on the effect of cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), chlorhexidine, povidone-iodine solutions, and hydrogen peroxide, among others, may have on certain types of viruses.

The article Is the oral cavity relevant in the SARS-CoV2 pandemic? Published in the journal Clinical Oral Investigations concludes that "the use of povidone-iodine or cepylpyridine chloride (CPC) oral antiseptic mouthwashes may help reduce the severity of 19-COVID and the risk of transmission by lowering viral load in the mouth in infected individuals.

The report suggests that the mouth is one of the main routes of entry into the body, along with the nose and eyes. And it is here that the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus that produces COVID-19 disease) finds a high density of its specific binding receptors. Keeping the virus in the mouth makes it easier to transmit it from person to person through the droplets that an infected person can emit when speaking, coughing, exhaling, etc.

Some basic research studies show that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus can infect when it specifically binds to a transmembrane protein, called ACE2, in some cells of our body. This receptor is found in most cells of the pulmonary alveoli, which is why the virus affects the respiratory system so much. Specifically, SARS-CoV-2 has salivary glands as a reservoir in asymptomatic patients and anchors itself to the tongue, gums, and palate. One of the most recent studies, published in February 2020, shows that these ACE2 receptors are found in high density in the mouth, especially on the surface of the tongue.

For all these reasons, the authors point out, "the mouth can be considered both an entry/exit door for the virus and in itself a high-risk site for the development of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) due to the presence of ACE2 receptors". Another relevant issue concerns viral load and how this is directly related to the severity of the disease. The use of mouthwashes with antiseptics would help to lower it and, consequently, reduce the severity of the disease, as well as transmission.

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