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J Am Dent Assoc. 1994 Aug;125 Suppl 2:2S-10S.

Antimicrobial mouthrinses: overview and update.

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  • Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery.


The Seal of Acceptance of the American Dental Association's Council on Dental Therapeutics has been awarded to Listerine and chlorhexidine gluconate (Peridex). The mechanism of action of Listerine involves bacterial cell wall destruction, bacterial enzymatic inhibition, and extraction of bacterial lipopolysaccharides. Chlorhexidine has the property of substantivity, i.e. the ability to bind to hard and soft tissue with slow release. Antibacterial mouthrinses/dentifrices containing triclosan hold promise for the reduction of plaque and gingivitis but are not yet available in the United States. The quaternary ammonium compounds and sanguinarine compounds (Viadent) have some merit, but studies of their efficacy in plaque and gingivitis reduction are mixed. New products containing various fluorides and oxygenating agents may have potential for the future as antiplaque and antigingivitis agents.

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