Comparative evaluation of efficacy of 0.2% Chlorhexidine, Listerine and Tulsi extract mouth rinses on salivary Streptococcus mutans count of high school children--RCT

Contemp Clin Trials. 2011 Nov;32(6):802-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2011.06.007. Epub 2011 Jul 6.


Objective: To assess and compare the effect of 0.2% Chlorhexidine mouth rinse, Listerine mouth rinse and 4% Tulsi extract mouth rinse on salivary Streptococcus mutans level.

Methods: The present study is an experimental study of cross over type, employing Latin square design. 45 school children aged 14-15 years were divided into three groups/blocks. The baseline unstimulated saliva samples were obtained from each group and assessed for Streptococcus mutans counts. The study was divided in to three phases, each phase lasted for 8 days separated by a washout period of 15 days in between them. Groups A, B and C were treated with 0.2% Chlorhexidine, Listerine and 4% Tulsi extract mouth rinses respectively in the phase I. The study subjects were instructed to use the assigned mouth rinse twice daily for 1 min for 7 days. On day 8th the subjects were instructed to use the mouth rinse only once in the morning. The follow up unstimulated saliva samples were collected 1h after the use of the assigned mouth rinse and assessed for salivary Streptococcus mutans counts. After phase I, mouth rinses were crossed over as dictated by the Latin square design in phase II and III.

Results: All the three mouth rinses have individually shown a statistically significant reduction in the salivary Streptococcus mutans counts. When the three mouth rinses were compared the difference did not reach statistical significance.

Conclusion: Tulsi has stood the test and is as effective as Chlorhexidine and Listerine in reducing the salivary S. mutans levels.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / administration & dosage*
  • Chlorhexidine / administration & dosage*
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dental Plaque / epidemiology
  • Dental Plaque / microbiology
  • Dental Plaque / prevention & control*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • India / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mouthwashes / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Salicylates / administration & dosage*
  • Saliva / microbiology*
  • Streptococcus mutans / drug effects
  • Streptococcus mutans / isolation & purification*
  • Terpenes / administration & dosage*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Drug Combinations
  • Mouthwashes
  • Plant Extracts
  • Salicylates
  • Terpenes
  • Listerine
  • Chlorhexidine