Evidence-based control of plaque and gingivitis

Santos A
Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 2003


Most adults brush and floss inadequately, and constant education and/or reinforcement is often required. Bacteria are usually left behind with mechanical oral health routines, and chemotherapeutic agents may have a key role as adjuncts to daily home-care. To date, two antiseptic mouthwashes have received the ADA Seal of Acceptance: Peridex (Zila Pharmaceuticals, Phoenix, AZ, USA; CHX, chlorhexidine) and Listerine (Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, Morris Plains, NJ, USA; essential oil (EO) mouthwash). CHX has a strong affinity for tooth and tissue surfaces, but can cause brown staining on the teeth and tongue. Patients must also wait until all traces of toothpaste are removed before rinsing with CHX. Long-term use of an EO mouthwash is microbiologically safe, with no changes observed in the bacterial composition of supragingival plaque, and no evidence of antimicrobial resistance. A number of trials have demonstrated the long-term plaque- and gingivitis-reducing properties of both CHX and EO mouthwashes. These studies clearly demonstrate that these agents have lasting efficacy, and can access hard-to-reach areas.


Santos A. Evidence-based control of plaque and gingivitis. J Clin Periodontol. 2003;30:13-16.

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