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Using PVP-I mouthwash against COVID-19

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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused more than 56 million cases and has taken over 1 million lives across the globe as of date (November 19, 2020).1 This highly contagious viral disease is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Saliva is a potential route of transmission of COVID-19.2,3 Antiseptic mouthwashes have long been used prior to routine dental treatment. They can play a key role in decreasing the number of microorganisms in the oral cavity.4

The use of oral rinses is increasingly being advocated in order to reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.2,5 The American Dental Association (ADA) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommend the use of preprocedural mouthwashes prior to oral procedures.6,7

From among the various mouth rinses available, povidone-iodine (PVP-I) seems to be a promising agent as it has been shown in previous studies to be effective against several viruses, such as SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and influenza virus A (H1N1).4 Additionally, its virucidal activity has been found to be higher than other commonly used agents, like chlorhexidine and benzalkonium chloride. It does not cause tooth or tongue discoloration or taste disturbances.4

Furthermore, a recent study has also shown PVP-I to be effective at inactivating SARS-CoV-2.8 PVP-I mouthwash has been shown to achieve ≥ 99.99% virucidal activity against this virus.9

Therefore, PVP-I mouthwash could be a potential agent in our fight against this new virus by reducing the risk of its transmission.


  1. Available from:
  2. Peng X, Xu X, Li Y, et al. Transmission routes of 2019-nCoV and controls in dental practice. Int J Oral Sci. 2020;12:9.
  3. Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: implications for infection prevention precautions. Available at:
  4. Vergara-Buenaventura A, Castro-Ruiz C. Use of mouthwashes against COVID-19 in dentistry. Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2020 Oct; 58(8): 924–927.
  5. Ather A, Patel B, Ruparel NB, et al. Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19): Implications for clinical dental care. J Endod. 2020;46(5):584–95.
  6. ADA Interim Guidance for Minimizing Risk of COVID-19 Transmission. Available from:
  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Interim infection prevention and control guidance for dental settings during the COVID-19 response. Available from:
  8. 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 Jul;29(6):529-533.
  9. Anderson DE, Sivalingam V, Kang AEZ, et al. Povidone-Iodine Demonstrates Rapid In Vitro Virucidal Activity Against SARS-CoV-2, The Virus Causing COVID-19 Disease. Infect Dis Ther. 2020 Sep;9(3):669-675.
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