Chlorine dioxide and chlorhexidine mouthrinses compared in a 3-day plaque accumulation model

J Periodontol. 2008 Aug;79(8):1395-400. doi: 10.1902/jop.2008.070630.


Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the inhibiting effect of a chlorine dioxide mouthrinse as opposed to a mouthrinse containing chlorhexidine (0.20%) during 3 days of plaque accumulation.

Methods: At baseline, all participants (N=77) received a professional prophylaxis and were randomly assigned to the test (chlorine dioxide) or (positive) control (chlorhexidine) group. On the following 3 days, both groups rinsed twice daily for 1 minute with 10 ml test or control solution. At the end of the experimental period, plaque was assessed, and the panelists filled out a questionnaire.

Results: Chlorhexidine inhibited plaque growth significantly more than the mouthrinse containing chlorine dioxide (plaque index=1.39 versus 1.96, respectively; P<0.001). The results of the questionnaire showed that the panelists found chlorhexidine easier to use and more effective. However, they preferred the taste of the chlorine dioxide mouthrinse and experienced less taste alterations.

Conclusion: Chlorine dioxide mouthrinse seems to be a less potent plaque inhibitor than chlorhexidine.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use*
  • Chlorhexidine / therapeutic use*
  • Chlorine Compounds / therapeutic use*
  • Dental Plaque / prevention & control*
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouthwashes / therapeutic use*
  • Oxides / therapeutic use*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Taste / drug effects
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Chlorine Compounds
  • Mouthwashes
  • Oxides
  • chlorine dioxide
  • Chlorhexidine