The effects of a chlorhexidine gluconate mouthrinse on plaque and gingivitis were studied among 430 adults in a six-month clinical trial. Subjects were divided in two comparable treatment groups matched for age, sex, and initial gingivitis severity. Following a thorough oral prophylaxis, they were instructed to rinse twice a day for 30 seconds with 15 ml of a 0.12% chlorhexidine gluconate mouthrinse or a placebo mouthrinse. After three and six months of mouthrinse use, the chlorhexidine group had significantly less gingivitis, gingival bleeding, and plaque accumulation compared to the placebo group. As expected, accumulation of dental calculus and extrinsic dental stain increased in the chlorbexidine group. No significant differences in adverse oral soft tissue effects were observed between the two groups.
Since use of oral antimicrobial agents has been reported to produce tooth and tongue stain, gingivitis examinations were done with and without tooth covers to eliminate the potential for examiner bias. Comparable reductions in the Gingival Index scores and gingival bleeding were obtained when the evaluations were conducted with or without the tooth covers.
It was concluded that a 0.12% chlorhexidine gluconate mouthrinse can provide an important adjunct to the prevention and control of gingivitis when used with regular personal oral hygiene procedures and professional care.