Clinical research program underway to validate potential of oral health products to slow spread of the virus.
Laboratory studies show that toothpastes containing zinc or stannous and mouthwash formulas with cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) neutralise the virus that causes COVID-19 by 99.9%.
The studies are part of a Colgate research program. It 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 toothpaste neutralised 99.9% of the virus after two minutes of contact. Colgate Plax, Colgate Total and Colgate Zero mouthwashes were similarly effective after 30 seconds.
The studies, completed in October, were conducted in partnership with Rutgers University’s Public Health Research Institute and Regional Biosafety Laboratories.
Results suggest that some toothpastes and mouthwashes may help reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2. This is the virus that causes COVID-19.
The virus spreads through respiratory droplets or small particles produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes. That’s according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
‘Brushing and rinsing are not a treatment or a way to fully protect an individual from infection. However, 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,’ says Dr Maria Ryan, Colgate’s chief clinical officer.
‘We’re at the early stages of our clinical investigations. But our preliminary laboratory and clinical results are very promising.’
Dr David Alland is chief of infectious diseases and director of the Center for COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness. He led the Rutgers study along with colleagues Drs Pradeep Kumar and Riccardo Russo.
They say: ‘While we do not yet know the contribution of SARS CoV2 virus originating from the mouth to COVID-19 transmission, saliva certainly can contain amounts of virus that are comparable to that found in the nose and throat.
‘This suggests that reducing virus in the mouth could help prevent transmission.’
Fighting the global pandemic
Concurrent to the laboratory study, a Colgate-sponsored clinical study involving some 50 hospitalised subjects with COVID-19 was conducted at the Albert Einstein Institute in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
This study demonstrated the ability of certain Colgate mouthwashes to substantially reduce the amount of the virus in the mouth temporarily. The researchers plan to share their findings in early December.
Additional Colgate-supported clinical research studies on toothpaste and mouthwashes are in early stages. This is taking place at Rutgers, the Einstein Institute, and at the University of North Carolina Adams School of Dentistry. Some 260 people with COVID-19 are participating in these studies.
‘Colgate is collaborating with numerous investigators throughout the globe to conduct clinical research. We aim to explore the potential of oral care products to reduce oral viral loads as a risk reduction strategy,’ Dr Ryan says. ‘We think oral care has a role to play in fighting the global pandemic. Alongside other preventive measures.’
As one of the world’s most trusted dental experts, Colgate commits to leading in science. As a result, it aims to ensure its products address health challenges and meet consumers’ needs.
For more information about the effects of oral hygiene on overall health and additional insights on other topics, visit www.colgate.com.