The effect of rinsing with Listerine antiseptic on the properties of developing dental plaque

J Clin Periodontol. 1985 Sep;12(8):660-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051x.1985.tb00937.x.


Plaque was collected from a group of volunteers who used either Listerine antiseptic (LA), its vehicle control (V), or a water control (C) twice daily in addition to their normal toothbrushing in a double-blind controlled clinical experiment. Following the 9-month clinical study, plaque collected from the supragingival surfaces of 20 teeth from each of 78 subjects was weighed wet, freeze dried, reweighed, resuspended, sonicated and estimated for protein. In addition, endotoxin activity was evaluated by means of the limulus lysate assay. A 52.6% reduction in wet weight was found LA versus C (p = 0.04); LA versus V showed a 55.1% reduction (p = 0.03). A 59.0% reduction in dry weight was found LA versus C (p = 0.01); LA versus V showed a 59.6% reduction (p = 0.01). A 59.7% reduction in plaque protein was seen LA versus C (p = 0.01); LA versus V showed a 59.2% decrease (p = 0.02). A 75.8% reduction in limulus lysate activity was found LA versus C (p = 0.01); LA versus V showed a decrease of 77.9% (p = 0.01). Our results demonstrate that LA has a dramatic effect on plaque toxic activity, as measured by a decrease in limulus lysate assay, as well as on its biomass.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dental Plaque / analysis
  • Dental Plaque / prevention & control*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Mouthwashes / therapeutic use*
  • Oral Hygiene
  • Random Allocation
  • Toothbrushing


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Mouthwashes