Can Alka-White Mouthwash Reduce the Viral Load of COVID-19 in the Oropharynx?

Sameer Atrash1 and Lewis Gross2*  

1Candidate for Doctor of Dental Medicine, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, United State of America 2Doctor of Dental Surgery,, United States of America  

*Corresponding Author: Lewis Gross, Doctor of Dental Surgery,, United States of America. Received: May 06, 2020; Published: May 13, 2020 

Keywords: Alka-White; Mouthwash; Gargle; COVID-19; Coronavirus; Coronavirus-19 


COVID-19: Coronavirus-19 

Coronavirus-19, also known as COVID-19, is an upper respiratory disease that has recently caused a massive pandemic. Due to the ef fect COVID-19 has had on society, scientists worldwide have been attempting to discover ways to combat the disease. As the virus spreads  through the respiratory tract, is it possible that gargling with an oral care product, such as Alka-White, could provide benefits against the  disease? There is a short window between exposure and infection of the lungs [1]. During this period gargling and sinus irrigation could  lessen viral load. After investigation, we conceptually propose that Alka-White can reduce the viral load in the oropharynx of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 patients due to its alkaline and effervescent characteristics.  

Alka-White is a natural, organic mouthwash, patent #517759481np, that creates an ideal oral environment [2]. The mouthwash comes  in a single tube contained with dry, effervescent tablets. A dry tablet is placed in lukewarm water, gargle for fifteen seconds and then nasal  irrigate with the remainder. Alka-White contains ingredients and essential oils such as Sodium Bicarbonate, Xylitol, Coconut Oil and Tea  Tree Oil. Alka-white’s unique characteristics are its alkaline and effervescent features. The action of exposing the oral cavity environment  to the pH buffer prevents acidic erosion and decay. Many bacteria and viruses thrive in acidic environments and exposing them to a topical  alkaline solution results in unfavorable living conditions. 

The coronavirus family contains multiple upper respiratory diseases. Some examples are severe-acute respiratory syndrome, middle  east respiratory syndrome, and the common cold. COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets and can stay on a surface for extended  periods. According to the CDC, symptoms entail fever, headache, sore throat, shortness of breath, cough, chills, dysgeusia, and muscle pain  [3]. The disease is spreading at an exponential rate, having over one million confirmed cases in the United States and over 65,000 deaths  [4]. There is a high priority to discover methods to combat the virus, in hopes of returning to a degree of normalcy. Many vaccines and  therapies are currently under clinical investigation. One method which has not received much attention in the United States is gargling. 

In the country of Japan, a common mechanism to combat upper respiratory infections is gargling [5]. Gargling is a simple and safe  hygienic measure. Studies conducted in Japan showed that gargling was useful as a prophylactic measure [5,6]. The reasoning stems from 

Citation: Sameer Atrash and Lewis Gross. “Can Alka-White Mouthwash Reduce the Viral Load of COVID-19 in the Oropharynx?”. EC Dental  Science 19.6 (2020): 30-31. 

Can Alka-White Mouthwash Reduce the Viral Load of COVID-19 in the Oropharynx? 


how the virus spreads through the respiratory tract and that gargling with an antimicrobial could reduce the viral load of the disease in  the oropharynx region of the respiratory tract. A study has shown for water to be effective in reducing the prevalence of upper respira tory infections [7]. The physical aspect of gargling could be disturbing the virus and helping remove it from the oropharynx. However, it  could be the chlorine that was found in the water, which is antimicrobial. The current mechanism of action of how gargling water provided  benefits against upper respiratory infections is not fully understood. 

In another country, Pakistan, a clinical trial has been approved to assess how effective gargling is lessening the viral load in laboratory confirmed COVID-19 patients. In the study, the patients are asked to rinse and use the mouthwash solution as a nasal lavage. The current  mouthwashes being tested are Neem, Listerine, Povidone Iodine and Saline Water [8]. This type of study is similar to what Alka-White  should conduct.  

A study conducted on the coronavirus family, showed that the virus has a low pH-dependent fusion activation during entry into host  cells [9]. Alka-White would expose the virus to an alkaline environment, which would create unfavorable living conditions for the virus.  Alka-white because of its sodium bicarbonate, greatly alkalizes environments it is exposed to. This could provide potential to reduce the  viral load. Moreover, Alka-White has an effervescent action and could provide better, more rigorous physical activity while gargling. For  these reasons, Alka-White conceptually could reduce the viral load in the oropharynx region. 

For Alka-White to be proven as effective in reducing the viral load of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients in the oropharynx, a  large clinical study must be conducted. It makes logical sense that exposing the oropharynx while gargling to a specific solution could  reduce the viral load in that area. However, which solution and why can only be determined through valid extensive clinical trial studies.  Recommended next steps to further investigate entail conducting thorough in-vitro and in-vivo clinical research trials.  

Conflict of Interest 

Lewis Gross hired Sameer Atrash to help investigate. The researcher, Sameer Atrash, does not have any equity in Alka-White, but Lewis  Gross does.  


  1. Mason Robert J. “Pathogenesis of COVID-19 from a cell biology perspective”. The European Respiratory Journal 55.4 (2000): 607. 
  2. Sameer Atrash and Lewis Gross. “The Effect of Alka-White Mint and Alka-White Turmeric on the Oral Cavity”. EC Dental Science 7.2  (2017): 95-100. 
  3. CDC Coronavirus-19 Symptoms (2020). 
  4. John Hopkins University of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center (2020). 
  5. Sakai Michi., et al. “Cost-effectiveness of gargling for the prevention of upper respiratory tract infections”. BMC Health Services Re search 8 (2008): 258. 
  6. Ide Kazuki., et al. “Effect of gargling with tea and ingredients of tea on the prevention of influenza infection: a meta-analysis”. BMC  Public Health 16 (2016): 396. 
  7. Satomura K., et al. “Prevention of upper respiratory tract infections by gargling: A randomized trial”. American College of Preventive  Medicine 29.4 (2005): 302-307. 
  8. “A Clinical Trial of Gargling Agents in Reducing Intraoral Viral Load Among COVID-19 Patients (GARGLES)” (2020). 
  9. Chu Victor C., et al. “The avian coronavirus infectious bronchitis virus undergoes direct low-pH-dependent fusion activation during  entry into host cells”. Journal of Virology 80.7 (2006): 3180-3188. 

Volume 19 Issue 6 June 2020 

© All rights reserved by Sameer Atrash and Lewis Gross.

Citation: Sameer Atrash and Lewis Gross. “Can Alka-White Mouthwash Reduce the Viral Load of COVID-19 in the Oropharynx?”. EC Dental  Science 19.6 (2020): 30-31. 

Leave a comment