The effect of cetylpyridinium chloride-containing mouth rinses as adjuncts to toothbrushing on plaque and parameters of gingival inflammation: a systematic review

Int J Dent Hyg. 2008 Nov;6(4):290-303. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-5037.2008.00344.x.


Objective: To review the literature concerning cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) containing mouth rinses as effective adjuncts to toothbrushing in the prevention of plaque accumulation and gingival inflammation.

Materials and methods: Medline and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched up to January 2008 to identify appropriate studies. The primary outcome measurements were plaque accumulation and gingivitis.

Results: Independent screening of titles and abstracts of 3250 papers resulted in eight publications that met the criteria of eligibility. Mean values and standard deviations were obtained by data extraction. Descriptive comparisons are presented for brushing only or brushing and rinsing. Meta-analyses were performed when possible.

Conclusions: The existing evidence supports that CPC containing mouth rinses, when used as adjuncts to either supervised or unsupervised oral hygiene, provide a small but significant additional benefit in reducing plaque accumulation and gingival inflammation.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use*
  • Cetylpyridinium / therapeutic use*
  • Dental Plaque / prevention & control*
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Gingivitis / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Mouthwashes / therapeutic use*
  • Periodontal Index
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Research Design
  • Smoking
  • Toothbrushing / methods*


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Mouthwashes
  • Cetylpyridinium