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J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2008 Mar;66(3):441-5. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2007.06.641.

Effectiveness of chlorhexidine gel versus chlorhexidine rinse in reducing alveolar osteitis in mandibular third molar surgery.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0018, USA.



Chlorhexidine is an antimicrobial agent used in the prevention of postextraction alveolar osteitis, tooth decay, and periodontal diseases. There are various forms of chlorhexidine application. The most extensively studied is one that uses the rinse as the form of application. Recently, a bioadhesive gel form has become available. Its main advantage is that it prolongs the bioavailability of chlorhexidine in the application area. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of chlorhexidine gel versus a chlorhexidine rinse in reducing postoperative alveolar osteitis after the extraction of mandibular third molars.


The experimental or gel group (n = 41) applied the bioadhesive 0.2% chlorhexidine gel to the wound during the first postoperative week and a control or rinse group (n = 32) used a 0.12% chlorhexidine rinse during the first week postextraction.


We observed a 70% decrease in postoperative alveolar osteitis in the gel group (P = .040). The rinse group had 25% incidence postoperative alveolar osteitis, while the gel group had 7.5%.


It was concluded that the topical application of bioadhesive chlorhexidine gel to the surgical wound during the postoperative week may decrease the incidence of alveolar osteitis after extraction of the mandibular third molars.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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