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J Dermatolog Treat. 2019 Nov 21:1-5. doi: 10.1080/09546634.2019.1688231. [Epub ahead of print]

N-acetylcysteine versus chlorhexidine in treatment of aphthous ulcers: a preliminary clinical trial.

Author information

1
Department of Maxillofacial Surgery and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Dentistry, Jazan University, Jazan, Saudi Arabia.
2
Department of Periodontology and Oral Medicine, Faculty of Dentistry, Ibb University, Ibb, Yemen.
3
Department of Preventive Dentistry, College of Dentistry, Jazan University, Jazan, Saudi Arabia.
4
College of Dentistry, Jazan University, Jazan, Saudi Arabia.
5
Teaching Assistant, Faculty of Dentistry, Ibb University, Ibb, Yemen.
6
Madinat Khalifa Health Center, Primary Health Care Corporation, Doha, Qatar.
7
Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa.

Abstract

Introduction: This study sought to assess the efficacy of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) in the treatment of recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS).Methods: Fifty-eight patients, aged 28 ± 9.7 years, presented with clinically diagnosed RAS to two oral medicine centers. They were assigned randomly to a single application of either NAC (200 mg dissolved in water, n = 38) or 0.12% chlorhexidine digluconate (CHX, n = 20) mouthwashes for 30 seconds. Pain was measured using a Visual Analog Scale (VAS). The size of the ulcer was measured through its greatest dimension using a periodontal probe. These two measurements were taken pre-application (day 1) and 2nd, 4th, and 6th day post-application. Average time (in days) until complete healing was assessed.Results: Of all participants, 33 (57%) were females; 34 (59%) married; 29 (50%) reported a family history of aphthae; and 51 (88%) were affected with minor RAS. There were greater improvement in pain from day 1 with NAC on the second day (-3.0 ± 2.0 versus -1.8 ± 1.9; p = .028) and on the fourth day (-5.0 ± 2.6 versus -3.4 ± 2.7; p = .041). The differences with regard to the change in ulcer size and average healing time were not significant between NAC and CHX.Conclusion: Single application of NAC results in a clinically significant reduction of RAS-associated pain within one day of application and is more effective than CHX.

KEYWORDS:

N-acetyl cysteine; Recurrent aphthous stomatitis; chlorhexidine; mouthwash; single application

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