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COVID-19 and Preprocedural Mouthwashes in Dental Practices

February 01, 2021 | Coronavirus | The Office of Palisades Dentists

2 Minute Read: 

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many aspects of our lives. Even going to the dentist is a whole new experience now. 

Dental hygienist cleaning a patients teeth while wearing PPE to protect from COVID

Besides the many new infection controls to be observed, you will be asked to rinse your mouth out with a special oral rinse.

Recent studies suggest that antimicrobial mouthwashes with chlorhexidine (CHX), povidone-iodine (PVP-I), and hydrogen peroxide may play a role in reducing the spread of COVID-19 by reducing the amount of germs, even the virus, in the mouth. 

Despite there being little clinical evidence supporting the effectiveness of mouthwash in preventing SARS-COV-2, its ingredients are found to decrease transmission of pathogens, which could potentially aid in reducing the presence of the novel coronavirus in dental aerosols. 

This is a promising way to decrease the amount of virus emitted by an infected person.

Dental Practice in the Coronavirus Era

Dental professionals are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, considering the nature of their work poses a high risk of viral transmission. Most dental procedures generate a significant amount of droplets and aerosols, increasing the risk of infection transmission.

A dentist works over a patient’s mouth when carrying out various procedures. This can be especially worrisome for both patients and staff as the virus can remain viable in aerosols for hours and on untreated surfaces for days. With aerosols and saliva droplets being a known transmission route of SARS-Cov-2, it is of particular importance for dental practices to take appropriate measures to reduce the cross-infection risk between their patients, themselves, and other members of the dental team.

Besides executing the standard precautions for COVID-19 prevention as established by the CDC, the use of a preprocedural mouth rinse is being recommended as a possible option for reducing contaminated aerosol production up to 94.1 percent.

What Is the Role of a Preprocedural Mouth Rinse?

The goal of having patients rinse their mouths before and during their dental appointment is to reduce the amount of microbes and bacteria in the oral cavity. Antimicrobial mouthwashes kill or stop the growth of microorganisms in the nasopharynx and salivary glands, known to be the reservoirs of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The use of mouthwashes is a worthwhile extra layer of safety when receiving dental care, and it doesn’t cause any harm, so it’s worth giving it a shot.

Interested in Learning More?

With so much uncertainty about the virus, we would like you to know that we are doing everything possible to ensure you remain safe and healthy while receiving the highest quality oral care. If you would like to learn more about our dental services and commitment to safety, please contact us at 310-459-2303 or fill our online form to schedule a consultation.