Essential oils in one-stage full-mouth disinfection: double-blind, randomized clinical trial of long-term clinical, microbial and salivary effects

J Clin Periodontol. 2009 Apr;36(4):333-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2009.01376.x. Epub 2009 Mar 11.


Aim: This randomized clinical trial evaluated the effects of an essential oils-containing mouthrinse for full-mouth disinfection.

Material and methods: Fifty patients were assigned to receive full-mouth disinfection with either essential oils or placebo. At baseline, 2 and 6 months of treatment the primary outcomes probing depth (PD), plaque index (PlI) and modified gingival index (MGI) were monitored. Additional monitoring included bacterial presence (by polymerase chain reaction) in subgingival, saliva and tongue samples; flows, pH, total protein and alkaline phosphatase salivary levels. The following statistics were used: ANOVA, Student's t-test, chi(2) and Kruskal-Wallis (p<0.05).

Results: Mean PD>or=3.5 mm was reduced over time in both the placebo and the test groups, but there was no difference in PD reduction between groups at 2 and 6 months. At 2 and 6 months, PlI and MGI showed greater reductions in the test group than in the placebo group. Porphyromona gingivalis was not reduced in any site. At 6 months, Campylobacter rectus increased in both groups, while Tannerella forsythensis decreased subgingivally in the test group. S. sanguinis increased, except subgingivally, in the placebo group. Salivary pH and flows were not altered. Total protein reduced only in the test group. Alkaline phosphatase did not change in either group.

Conclusions: Essential oils for full-mouth disinfection showed clinical benefits, namely reducing plaque and gingival inflammation without altering basic salivary parameters.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / chemistry
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use*
  • Bacteria, Anaerobic / isolation & purification
  • Chronic Periodontitis / drug therapy*
  • Dental Plaque / drug therapy*
  • Dental Scaling
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouthwashes / chemistry
  • Mouthwashes / therapeutic use*
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use*
  • Saliva / chemistry
  • Saliva / metabolism
  • Saliva / microbiology
  • Salivary Proteins and Peptides / analysis
  • Secretory Rate


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Mouthwashes
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Salivary Proteins and Peptides