Anti-inflammatory effect of salt water and chlorhexidine 0.12% mouthrinse after periodontal surgery: a randomized prospective clinical study

Clin Oral Investig. 2021 Jul;25(7):4349-4357. doi: 10.1007/s00784-020-03748-w. Epub 2021 Jan 3.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare the anti-inflammatory efficacy of sodium chloride- and a 0.12% chlorhexidine mouth rinses in patients undergoing minimal invasive periodontal surgery.

Materials and methods: Forty-seven patients with a diagnosis of periodontitis and indication for access flap procedure were randomly selected. Group A: a sodium chloride (salt)water-based mouth rinse (test group) or group B: a 0.12% chlorhexidine mouth rinse (control group) administered after surgery. Gingival Index (GI) were evaluated in the whole mouth and in the surgical site at baseline (T1), a week later (T2), and 12 weeks (T3) after the treatment. Total MMP activity was measured in GCF using a commercial kit and plate reader. Medians of total MMP activity and GI were compared for time intervals T1 vs. T2, T1 vs. T3, and T2 vs T3 using Friedman tests and Wilcoxon signed rank tests, and were also compared between test and control using Mann-WhitneyU tests at each timepoint.

Results: The average GI values showed significant differences between baseline and T2 (p = 0.0005) and baseline and T3 (p = 0.003) in the test group.

Conclusion: The sodium chloride-mouth rinse use after periodontal surgery seems to have similar anti-inflammatory properties as CHX mouth rinse and can be used regularly postoperatively after periodontal surgical procedures.

Clinical relevance: The use of salt water mouthwash showed an anti-inflammatory effect similar to CHX 0.12% after minimal invasive periodontal surgery. Salt water mouthwash is accessible to the world population and can contribute on the healing process after periodontal surgery.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory agents; Antiplaque agents; Chlorhexidine; Matrix metalloproteinases; Periodontal surgery; Sodium chloride.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local*
  • Chlorhexidine
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Dental Plaque*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Mouthwashes
  • Prospective Studies
  • Water


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Mouthwashes
  • Water
  • Chlorhexidine