Does mouthwash reduce risk of oral stds how to cure canker sore in mouth

That doesn’t mean mouthwash is useless. But it does point out that it’s important to treat results with caution. An example of this is a 2005 study of how a 30 second rinse with Listerine affected people with herpes also found positive results. They saw a significant reduction in active herpes virus for more than 30 minutes after mouthwash use. The effect had worn off by 60 minutes, but the researchers still saw a strong benefit in that time period. In other words, the mouthwash helped right after people used it, but not necessarily long term. Basic Research on Mouthwash and STDs

Unfortunately, there have not been too many studies looking at the effects of mouthwashes on STDs in the human body. However, several studies have examined the effects of such mouthwashes in vitro. In such studies, both Listerine and chlorhexidine based mouthwashes have been shown to limit the growth of both HIV and herpes viruses.


Those results can’t be directly extrapolated to how the mouthwashes work in people, but it definitely makes research on the role of mouthwash in oral STD prevention something that scientists are likely to continue working on in the future.

It’s worth mentioning that research has also examined the role of oral hygiene in limiting oral HPV infection. A large study published in 2013 in Cancer Prevention and Research found that poor oral health was associated with oral HPV infection. That study didn’t look directly at the impact of mouthwash use on HPV infection. They did find an increased risk of HPV in people who used mouthwash for treating oral symptoms. However, that association was more likely to be about the fact that oral symptoms requiring mouthwash are associated with poor oral health.

The answer seems to be no. Looking at the data on Listerine and STDs, the success stories aren’t because Listerine is equally effective against all pathogens. It does seem to good job of reducing the amount of certain infections, but that effect isn’t universal. Other pathogens, like rotavirus and adenovirus, are not as efficiently killed off by gargling. A Word From Verywell

However, that isn’t always a practical option. When it’s not, gargling with an antiseptic mouthwash such as Listerine before sex may reduce your risk of transmitting any oral STD to your partner. (It’s theoretically possible that gargling after sex might reduce your risk of catching such an STD. However, it’s very hard to do that research ethically. As such, there isn’t any clear data.)

Sometimes STD prevention is about what’s possible, not what’s best. When talking about sexual risk and behavior. It’s really important not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. There are many people who aren’t willing to use barriers for oral sex but are happy enough to gargle. It may not be clear how much mouthwash helps, but it’s certainly better than doing nothing at all.

Chow EP, Howden BP, Walker S, Lee D, Bradshaw CS, Chen MY, Snow A, Cook S, Fehler G, Fairley CK. Antiseptic mouthwash against pharyngeal Neisseria gonorrhoeae: a randomised controlled trial and an in vitro study. Sex Transm Infect. 2016 Dec 20. pii: sextrans-2016-052753. doi: 10.1136/sextrans-2016-052753

Chow EPF, Walker S, Read TRH, Chen MY, Bradshaw CS, Fairley CK. Self-Reported Use of Mouthwash and Pharyngeal Gonorrhoea Detection by Nucleic Acid Amplification Test. Sex Transm Dis. 2017 Oct;44(10):593-595. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000654.