The aims of this study were to compare the volatile sulphur compounds (VSC)-reducing effect of two commercial mouthrinses using a morning bad breath model and to assess the role of mechanical plaque control (MPC) when performed previously to mouthrinse use.

Patients and methods

Eleven volunteers with good oral health were enrolled in a double-blind, randomized, six-step crossover design study with a 7-day washout period. Two commercial mouthrinses were tested using a saline solution (NaCl 0.9%) as a negative control: one mouthrinse contained 0.05% chlorhexidine, 0.05% cetylpyridinium chloride and 0.14% zinc lactate (CHX-CPC-Zn), while the other contained 0.05% chlorhexidine, 0.15% triclosan and 0.18% zinc pidolate (CHX-triclosan-Zn). A portable sulphide monitor (Halimeter®) was used for VSC quantification. Measurements were made at baseline, and 1, 3 and 5 h after rinsing. Significant differences were detected by analysis of variance.


No significant differences between groups were detected at baseline. We were unable to demonstrate a significant influence of mechanical plaque control on the reduction of VSC levels when performed before mouthrinse use (P = 0.631). Both mouthrinses effectively lowered VSC levels in all test intervals (P < 0.05). No statistically significant differences were found between mouthrinses in any of the test intervals (P = 0.629, 0.069 and 0.598 at 1, 3 and 5 h).


This study demonstrated that CHX-CPC-Zn and CHX-triclosan-Zn have significant and similar effects in reducing VSC levels, which persist for at least 5 h. Such effects were independent of previous MPC, which failed to improve on the results of mouthrinse use alone.

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