Efficacy of chlorhexidine mouthrinses with and without alcohol - a clinical study

Oral Health Prev Dent. 2012;10(3):291-6.


Purpose: To compare the efficacy of alcohol-free chlorhexidine mouthrinse to chlorhexidine with alcohol and a placebo (water) in controlling plaque and reducing gingival inflammation in patients with gingivitis.

Materials and methods: This was a single-blind, parallel-group study with 30 gingivitis patients in whom the plaque index (Silness and Löe) and gingival index (Löe and Silness) were recorded prior to treatment with 0.2% chlorhexidine mouthrinse with alcohol (group I, n = 10; CHX-A), 0.2% chlorhexidine mouthrinse without alcohol (group II, n = 10; CHXNA) or a placebo (water) (group II, n = 10; P). The plaque and gingival indices were recorded again at days 14 and 28 after the start of treatment.

Results: There were significant differences in plaque and gingival indices with both chlorhexidine rinses compared to the placebo. The gingival index showed a greater clinical change in group II (CHX-NA) than in group I (CHX-A).

Conclusion: The alcohol-free rinse was as effective as the one containing alcohol in controlling plaque and reducing gingival inflammation. Therefore, its use can be recommended in all periodontal patients, but especially in those for whom the use of alcohol may lead to side effects.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chlorhexidine / administration & dosage
  • Chlorhexidine / therapeutic use*
  • Dental Plaque / prevention & control*
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Ethanol / administration & dosage
  • Ethanol / therapeutic use*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gingivitis / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouthwashes / therapeutic use*
  • Periodontal Index
  • Placebos
  • Single-Blind Method


  • Mouthwashes
  • Placebos
  • Ethanol
  • Chlorhexidine