Abstract

Objective

To systematically review and evaluate the available scientific evidence on the effectiveness of chlorhexidine dentifrice or gel (CHX DF/gel) compared to chlorhexidine mouthwash (CHX MW) on plaque, bleeding, gingival inflammation and tooth discoloration scores.

Material and methods

PubMed-MEDLINE, Cochrane-CENTRAL and EMBASE databases were searched to identify appropriate studies.

Results

Independent screening of the 2256 unique titles and abstracts resulted in five publications that met the eligibility criteria. Considerable heterogeneity was found between the studies. Three of the five studies showed a positive effect on plaque scores in favour of the CHX MW. With respect to gingival index and bleeding scores, no significant differences were found. Chlorhexidine mouthwash, however, showed a significantly more tooth discoloration than the CHX DF/gel. A meta-analysis of the effect on ‘de novo’ plaque formation of CHX DF/gel versus CHX MW resulted in a difference in means of 0.27 [95% CI: 0.14; 0.39] (P < 0.0001).

Conclusion

Chlorhexidine gel can be successfully formulated and will inhibit plaque growth to some degree, but not to the same extent, as a CHX MW. When CHX DF/gel is used in a non-brushing model, it is significantly less effective in plaque inhibition compared to CHX MW. Based on one study when CHX gel was applied with a finger after brushing, it is significantly more effective on plaque scores and the gingival index. The only brushing study also with a long follow-up showed that there is no significant difference between CHX DF and CHX MW. However, as a corollary, significantly more tooth discoloration was observed with the CHX MW. Altogether, the data show that when daily oral hygiene cannot be performed, CHX MW is the first product of choice.

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *