Dent Med Probl. 2022 Jul 29. doi: 10.17219/dmp/150831. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: In the oral cavity, which plays an important role in the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), it is possible to reduce the viral load of SARS-CoV-2 with antiseptics, thereby minimizing the transmission of the virus during dental procedures.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to clinically evaluate the effect of the hypochlorous acid (HClO) and povidone-iodine (PVP-I) solutions on the oral viral load of SARS-CoV-2.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: This randomized controlled trial was conducted on 75 patients hospitalized in the COVID-19 ward of a local hospital. All the patients included in the study were within the first 24 h of hospitalization and the first 5 days of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms. The viral load of mouthwash samples was measured with the cycle threshold (Ct) value of SARS-CoV-2 through a realtime reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The patients were divided into 3 groups. The effect on the patient’s SARS-CoV-2 viral load was investigated after gargling the mouths and throats for 30 s with HClO, PVP-I and isotonic saline. First, a sample was taken after gargling with isotonic saline, then another sample was taken after gargling for 30 s with a particular antiseptic to determine the viral load of SARS-CoV-2.
RESULTS: Comparing the before and after mouthwash samples from all 3 groups, there were no statistically significant differences in the Ct values before and after gargling (p > 0.05). However, there were statistically significant differences in the number of negative samples after the use of HClO and PVP-I, which were positive before gargling (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: In the light of the data obtained in this study, there is insufficient evidence that gargling with HClO or PVP-I reduces viral load. Taken together, these findings imply no role for antiseptics in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 by the aerosol generated during dental procedures, or more generally, SARS-CoV-2 infection control.