Efficacy of aloe vera mouthwash versus chlorhexidine on plaque and gingivitis: A systematic review

Int J Dent Hyg. 2020 Feb;18(1):44-51. doi: 10.1111/idh.12393. Epub 2019 Mar 25.


Objectives: The present systematic review assessed the efficacy of aloe vera mouthrinse on plaque and gingival inflammation.

Methods: A comprehensive search of PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus and Web of Science was conducted in February 2018 to identify all relevant studies using the following keywords: aloe vera, gingivitis, gingival inflammation, plaque-induced gingivitis, periodontal health and plaque control. The eligibility criteria were all randomized clinical trials that assessed the efficacy of aloe vera mouthrinse in comparison to chlorhexidine on plaque and gingivitis. The risk of bias of the included studies was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias assessment tool.

Results: Six randomized clinical trials comprising 1358 subjects were included in this systematic review. All included studies showed that aloe vera was effective in reducing plaque and gingival inflammation. Four studies found aloe vera as effective as chlorhexidine in reducing plaque scores, while two studies found chlorhexidine significantly more effective than aloe vera. With regard to gingival inflammation, three studies showed comparable results between aloe vera and chlorhexidine, while one study showed better results with chlorhexidine. Moreover, the results showed that aloe vera had no or very minimal side effects compared to chlorhexidine, which showed significant side effects including stains and altered taste sensation.

Conclusion: The available evidence remains inconclusive but suggests that aloe vera mouthwash is comparable to chlorhexidine in reducing gingival inflammation but inferior to chlorhexidine in reducing plaque. These findings are preliminary and further high-quality studies with adequate sample sizes are highly recommended.

Keywords: aloe vera; chlorhexidine; efficacy; gingivitis; mouthrinse; plaque.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aloe*
  • Chlorhexidine
  • Dental Plaque*
  • Gingivitis*
  • Humans
  • Mouthwashes


  • Mouthwashes
  • Chlorhexidine