Comparison of the effects of cetylpyridinium chloride with an essential oil mouth rinse on dental plaque and gingivitis - a six-month randomized controlled clinical trial

J Clin Periodontol. 2007 Aug;34(8):658-67. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2007.01103.x.


Objective: To compare the effects of an experimental mouth rinse containing 0.07% cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) (Crest Pro-Health) with those provided by a commercially available mouth rinse containing essential oils (EOs) (Listerine) on dental plaque accumulation and prevention of gingivitis in an unsupervised 6-month randomized clinical trial.

Material and methods: This double-blind, 6-month, parallel group, positively controlled study involved 151 subjects balanced and randomly assigned to either positive control (EO) or experimental (CPC) mouth rinse treatment groups. At baseline, subjects received a dental prophylaxis procedure and began unsupervised rinsing twice a day with 20 ml of their assigned mouthwash for 30 s after brushing their teeth for 1 min. Subjects were assessed for gingivitis and gingival bleeding by the Gingival index (GI) of Löe & Silness (1963) and plaque by the Silness & Löe (1964) Plaque index at baseline and after 3 and 6 months of rinsing. At 3 and 6 months, oral soft tissue health was assessed. Microbiological samples were also taken for community profiling by the DNA checkerboard method.

Results: Results show that after 3 and 6 months of rinsing, there were no significant differences (p=0.05) between the experimental (CPC) and the positive control mouth rinse treatment groups for overall gingivitis status, gingival bleeding, and plaque accumulation. At 6 months, the covariant (baseline) adjusted mean GI and bleeding sites percentages for the CPC and the EO rinses were 0.52 and 0.53 and 8.7 and 9.3, respectively. Both mouth rinses were well tolerated by the subjects. Microbiological community profiles were similar for the two treatment groups. Statistically, a significant greater reduction in bleeding sites was observed for the CPC rinse versus the EO rinse.

Conclusion: The essential findings of this study indicated that there was no statistically significant difference in the anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis benefits between the experimental CPC mouth rinse and the positive control EO mouth rinse over a 6-month period.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use*
  • Cetylpyridinium / therapeutic use*
  • Dental Plaque / drug therapy*
  • Dental Plaque / microbiology
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Gingivitis / drug therapy*
  • Gingivitis / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouthwashes / therapeutic use*
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Mouthwashes
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Cetylpyridinium