Sodium hypochlorite (dilute chlorine bleach) oral rinse in patient self-care

J West Soc Periodontol Periodontal Abstr. 2015;63(4):99-104.


Sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl), commonly known as "bleach," is widely accepted as being a safe and effective antiseptic against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. For over a century, bleach has been used to control or overcome infection in homes, hospitals, and even on battlefields, and in endodontics for disinfection of root canals. This paper reviews clinical studies on the efficacy of sodium hypochlorite oral rinse to combat dental plaque and gingival inflammation. Sodium hypochlorite is readily available as inexpensive household bleach, and we suggest that oral rinsing twice weekly with dilute bleach (0.25% sodium hypochlorite) constitutes a valuable adjunct to current methods of plaque removal.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use*
  • Dental Plaque / prevention & control
  • Gingivitis / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Mouthwashes / therapeutic use*
  • Oral Hygiene
  • Self Care*
  • Sodium Hypochlorite / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Mouthwashes
  • Sodium Hypochlorite