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Thread: Can Mouthwash Kill Gonorrhea?

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    Default Can Mouthwash Kill Gonorrhea?

    And does this mean we can skip the trip to the doctor's office?

    If you’re tired of getting gonorrhea in your mouth, you might want to take a trip to the local drug store and head straight for the toothpaste aisle.

    A new study [3] supports a claim made by mouthwash manufacturers 137 years ago: Listerine can help kill gonorrhea, or rather, the bacteria that cause gonorrhea (also known as Neisseria gonorrhoeae).

    It’s a timely discovery, given that gonorrhea is on the rise, specifically among men who have sex with men. While it is generally treated with antibiotics, the scientific community also notes that a drug-resistant strain [4] of gonorrhea has emerged. Introducing another means to combat or cut down that threat would provide a tremendous relief to those infected.

    The study, led by Eric Chow, a research fellow at the Melbourne Sexual Health Center in Australia, started in a petri dish. After exposing the bacteria that causes gonorrhea to mouthwash for a full minute, Chow and his team found a “significant reduction” in the amount of Neisseria gonorrhoeae present in the petri dish.

    In a second experiment, Chow recruited 196 men who have sex with men. Fifty-eight of them tested positive for gonorrhea in their throats. Then Chow split those men up into two groups. Half gargled Listerine for 60 seconds, while the other group was asked to gargle with saline solution. Five minutes later, the researchers re-swabbed them.

    They found the men who had gargled with Listerine were “significantly less likely” to test positive for oral gonorrhea than the men who rinsed with saline solution.

    “Use of mouthwash could reduce the duration of infection and hence could reduce the number of gonorrhea cases,” Chow told the Associated Press [5]. “If the number of gonorrhea cases [decreases], it will minimize the use of antibiotics.”

    Chow’s experiment only showed that Listerine could help reduce bacteria growth. It’s unclear if mouthwash can rid one of the infection entirely. As Chow wrote in the original article, “we cannot exclude the mouthwash having only a short-lived effect.” We also don’t know how well something like Listerine would work on other infected parts of the body, such as the anus or urethra.

    Chow is working on a followup study of more than 500 men to see how the results hold up over a longer period.

    By Carrie Weisman

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    We also don’t know how well something like Listerine would work on other infected parts of the body, such as the anus or urethra.
    I would hope that test group pays better than average.

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