Decay, Gingivitis and Periodontitis, Plaque and Bacteria Dental Essential Oil Studies

Comparative antiplaque and antigingivitis effectiveness of a chlorhexidine and an essential oil mouthrinse: 6-month clinical trial


Objectives: The objective of this study was to compare the antiplaque and antigingivitis effectiveness and the side-effect profiles of an essential oil-containing mouthrinse and a chlorhexidine-containing mouthrinse.

Material and Methods: One hundred and eight qualifying subjects, aged 20–57 years, were randomized into three groups: essential oil mouthrinse (Listerine® Antiseptic); 0.12% chlorhexidine mouthrinse (Peridex®); or 5% hydroalcohol negative control. At baseline, subjects received a complete oral soft tissue examination and scoring of the Loe–Silness gingival index (GI), Quigley–Hein plaque index (PI), Volpe–Manhold calculus index (CI), and Lobene extrinsic tooth stain index (SI). Following a complete dental prophylaxis, subjects started rinsing twice daily with their respective mouthrinse as an adjunct to their usual mechanical oral hygiene procedures. One of the rinses on each weekday was supervised. Subjects were reexamined at 3 and 6 months.

The treatment groups were compared with respect to baseline demographic and clinical variables. The primary efficacy variables were GI and PI. Intergroup differences for all clinical variables were tested at 3 and 6 months using appropriate statistical procedures.

Results: All of the 108 randomized subjects were evaluable at 3 months, and 107 subjects were evaluable at 6 months. There were no statistically significant differences among the three groups at baseline, with the exception that the control group PI was significantly lower than that of the essential oil group (p<0.05) and the chlorhexidine group (p<0.001), and the essential oil mouthrinse group had a significantly greater number of subjects than the control group with body region SI scores 1.0 (p=0.021). At 6 months, the essential oil and chlorhexidine mouthrinses produced statistically significant (p<0.001) GI reductions of 14.0% and 18.2%, respectively, and statistically significant (p<0.001) PI reductions of 18.8% and 21.6%, respectively, compared with the control and were not statistically significantly different from each other with respect to plaque and gingivitis reduction. The chlorhexidine mouthrinse group had significantly more calculus and extrinsic tooth stain than either the essential oil mouthrinse group or the control group.

Conclusion: This 6-month controlled clinical study demonstrated that the essential oil mouthrinse and the chlorhexidine mouthrinse had comparable antiplaque and antigingivitis activity. Insofar as side effects associated with the chlorhexidine mouthrinse may limit patient compliance, it is suggested that each product can have a distinct role in the management of patients with periodontal diseases.

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