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J Periodontol. 2002 Mar;73(3):317-21.

Efficacy of chlorhexidine mouthrinses with and without alcohol: a clinical study.

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School of Dentistry, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Erratum in

  • Erratum. [J Periodontol. 2006]
  • J Periodontol. 2006 May;77(5):931.



Plaque control is the main method for preventing periodontal diseases. Chlorhexidine digluconate mouthrinse is widely recognized as helping to maintain plaque control. Most of these mouthrinses contain alcohol, making them impractical for many patients, including those with oral mucosal hypersensitivity. Mouthrinses without alcohol might cause fewer side effects, but also be less efficient. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of a 0.12% chlorhexidine mouthrinse without alcohol against one with 11% ethanol and a placebo.


This a double-blind, parallel group study with 96 patients who tested 3 mouthrinses containing 1) chlorhexidine digluconate 0.12% sodium fluoride 0.05%, and ethanol 11% (group 1; CHX-A); 2) the same solution without alcohol (group 2; CHX-NA); and a placebo (group 3; P). Plaque and bleeding indexes were recorded in all patients prior to treatment and at 14 and 28 days.


There were significant differences in plaque, gingivitis, and papilla bleeding indexes in both chlorhexidine rinses compared to placebo, but no differences between the 2 CHX products.


In this study, the alcohol-free rinse was as effective as one containing alcohol in controlling plaque and reducing gingival inflammation. Therefore, it would seem that its use can be recommended in all patients, but especially in patients for whom the use of alcohol is contraindicated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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