Microbiological and clinical effects of chlorhexidine digluconate and hydrogen peroxide mouthrinses on developing plaque and gingivitis

J Clin Periodontol. 1988 Jan;15(1):60-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051x.1988.tb01556.x.


While the ability of chlorhexidine (CHX) to prevent plaque formation and inhibit the development of gingivitis has been well documented in the literature, the therapeutic value of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in preventing gingivitis is in dispute. The purpose of this study was to compare the clinical and microbiological effects of an established therapeutic agent, such as chlorhexidine with that of H2O2 in the experimental gingivitis model. Following a period of stringent oral hygiene, 32 subjects were allocated to 1 of 3 treatment groups which were balanced on the basis of their pre-experimental gingivitis scores. The subjects then refrained from any oral hygiene for 21 days. During this period, they rinsed twice a day with either a placebo, 0.12% CHX, or a 1% H2O2 mouthrinse. After 21 days, supragingival and marginal plaque was collected from each subject and assayed for total cultivable microbiota, total facultative anaerobes, facultative Streptococci, Actinomyces, Fusobacterium, Veillonella and Capnocytophaga. At the end of the experimental period, the group rinsing with 0.12% CHX showed 95% reduction in gingivitis incidence, 100% reduction in bleeding sites, and 80% reduction in plaque scores compared to the group rinsing with placebo. Conversely, the group using 1% H2O2 showed a marginal reduction in gingivitis incidence of 15% and a 28% reduction in bleeding sites compared to the placebo group, but no significant reduction in plaque scores. The microbiological results showed that 0.12% CHX was an excellent broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent which significantly reduced the number of both facultative and obligate anaerobes in plaque.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Chlorhexidine / administration & dosage
  • Chlorhexidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Chlorhexidine / pharmacology
  • Chlorhexidine / therapeutic use
  • Dental Plaque / microbiology
  • Dental Plaque / prevention & control*
  • Gingivitis / microbiology
  • Gingivitis / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / administration & dosage
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / therapeutic use*
  • Mouthwashes
  • Placebos


  • Mouthwashes
  • Placebos
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • chlorhexidine gluconate
  • Chlorhexidine