This study describes a systematic review of the best available evidence on the effectiveness of
a chlorhexidine mouth rinse as a mono-therapy or as an adjunct to mechanical oral hygiene
against plaque growth and gingival inflammation. Medline, EMBASE and the Cochrane
Central register of Controlled Trials were searched up to April 2011. Randomised controlled
clinical trials that compared chlorhexidine to placebo or controlled mouth rinses or regular
oral hygiene for a minimum duration of at least four weeks amongst gingivitis patients
(≥ 18 years of age) were included. A total of 30 publications fulfilled the selection criteria.
Clinical parameters measured at baseline and end of trial were plaque, gingival inflammation,
bleeding and staining. Chlorhexidine reduced plaque by 33% and gingivitis by 26% compared
to a placebo or a control mouth rinse. The investigators concluded that when used together
with oral hygiene, chlorhexidine mouth rinses provide significant reductions in plaque and
gingivitis scores in gingivitis patients, but a significant increase in staining compared to
placebo or control mouth rinses.