Swish around a little mouthwash in your mouth for fresh breath, right? Right. But what about gargling some mouthwash to get rid of annoying STD? Haven’t heard of that? Well, we hadn’t either, until now.
A commercial brand of mouthwash can help control gonorrhea bacteria in the mouth, and daily use may offer a cheap and easy way to reduce the spread of the sexually transmitted disease, a small study from Australia contends.
Gonorrhea rates among men are on the rise in many countries due to declining condom use, and most cases occur in gay/bisexual men, researchers said.
The maker of Listerine mouthwash has claimed as far back as 1879 that it could be used against gonorrhea, though no published research has ever proved it.
In laboratory tests, the authors of this new study found that Listerine Cool Mint and Total Care (which are both 21.6 percent alcohol) significantly reduced levels of gonorrhea bacteria. A salt water (saline) solution did not.
The researchers then conducted a clinical trial with 58 gay/bisexual men who previously tested positive for gonorrhea in their mouths/throats. The men were randomly assigned to rinse and gargle for one minute with either Listerine or a salt solution.