PVP-I Mouthwash against COVID-19: The Potential Role |
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PVP-I Mouthwash against COVID-19: The Potential Role
eMediNexus,  17 October 2020
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Antiseptic mouthwashes are known to have a key role in restricting the number of microorganisms in the oral cavity. Mouthwashes are commonly used to rinse the mouth, prior to oral surgery as well. Antiseptic mouthwashes can diminish the number of microorganisms in the oral cavity and the colony-forming units in dental aerosols.1,2

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends the use of preprocedural mouthwashes prior to oral procedures, which includes the use of povidone mouthrinse.3 Some recent publications have also shown that rinsing the oral cavity may have a potential role in limiting the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.4

PVP-I is a potent antimicrobial solution that has a greater virucidal activity compared to other commonly used antiseptic agents, including chlorhexidine and benzalkonium chloride.4 Free iodine dissociates from polyvinylpyrrolidone. It then penetrates the microbes, disrupts proteins and oxidizes nucleic acid structures, thus resulting in microbial death.4,5

PVP-I mouthwash use for at least 15 seconds has previously been reported to inactivate SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, influenza virus A and rotavirus.6 A recent study has reported that PVP-I oral solution can completely inactivate SARS‐CoV‐2 as well, within 15 seconds of contact.7

The findings thus support the use of preprocedural PVP‐I mouthwash. It could prove to be beneficial both for patients and healthcare providers during the ongoing pandemic.



  1. Kosutic D, Uglesic V, Perkovic D, et al. Preoperative antiseptics in clean/contaminated maxillofacial and oral surgery: prospective randomized study. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2009; 38: 160-165.
  2. Marui VC, Souto MLS, Rovai ES, et al. Efficacy of preproceduralmouthrinses in the reduction of microorganisms in aerosol: a systematic review. J Am Dent Assoc. 2019; 150 (e1): 1015-1026.
  3. ADA Interim Guidance for Minimizing Risk of COVID-19 Transmission. Available from: https://www.zerodonto.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/ADA_COVID_Int_Guidance_Treat_Pts.pdf.
  4. Vergara-Buenaventura A, Castro-Ruiz C. Use of mouthwashes against COVID-19 in dentistry. British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 2020;58(8):924-7.
  5. Kirk-Bayley J, Sunkaraneni VS, Challacombe SJ. The use of povidone iodine nasal spray and mouthwash during the current COVID-19 pandemic may reduce cross infection and protect healthcare workers (May 4, 2020). Available from: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3563092.
  6. Eggers M, Koburger-Janssen T, Eickmann M, Zorn J. In Vitro Bactericidal and Virucidal Efficacy of Povidone-Iodine Gargle/Mouthwash Against Respiratory and Oral Tract Pathogens. Infect Dis Ther. 2018 Jun; 7(2): 249–259.
  7. Bidra AS, Pelletier JS, Westover JB, et al. Rapid In‐Vitro Inactivation of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) Using Povidone‐Iodine Oral Antiseptic Rinse. J Prosthodont. 2020 Jun 16 : 10.1111/jopr.13209.
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