Colgate Laboratory Tests Show Toothpaste and Mouthwash Neutralize 99.9% of the Virus That Causes COVID-19
Laboratory studies show that toothpastes containing zinc or stannous and mouthwash formulas with cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) neutralize the virus that causes COVID-19 by 99.9 percent. The studies are part of a Colgate research program that includes clinical studies among infected people to assess the efficacy of oral care products in reducing the amount of the virus in the mouth, potentially slowing the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
In the laboratory studies -- the first to include toothpaste -- Colgate Total and Meridol toothpastes neutralized 99.9% of the virus after two minutes of contact. Colgate Plax and Colgate Total mouthwashes were similarly effective after 30 seconds. The studies, completed in October, were conducted in partnership with Rutgers New Jersey Medical School’s (NJMS) Public Health Research Institute and Regional Biosafety Laboratories.
The results suggest that some toothpastes and mouthwashes may help reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, by temporarily reducing the amount of virus in the mouth. The virus spreads through respiratory droplets or small particles produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We’re at the early stages of our clinical investigations, but our preliminary laboratory and clinical results are very promising,” said Dr. Maria Ryan, Colgate’s Chief Clinical Officer. “While brushing and rinsing are not a treatment or a way to fully protect an individual from infection, they may help to reduce transmission and slow the spread of the virus, supplementing the benefit we get from wearing masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing.”
Said Dr. David Alland, Chief of Infectious Diseases and Director of the Center for COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness, who led the Rutgers NJMS study along with colleagues Drs. Pradeep Kumar and Riccardo Russo: “Given that saliva can contain amounts of virus that are comparable to that found in the nose and throat, it seems likely that SARS-CoV-2 virus originating in the mouth contributes to disease transmission, especially in persons with asymptomatic COVID-19, who are not coughing. This suggests that reducing virus in the mouth could help prevent transmission during the time that oral care products are active.”