Author: Natalie Bradley BDS Dip SCD MFDS RCSEd

Chlorhexidine gluconate (CHX) mouth rinse is a well-known and effective antimicrobial rinse used in dentistry to control plaque associated with periodontal disease (including gingivitis) and as an adjunctive treatment between dental visits for the treatment of gingivitis. There are also less common indications, for example, in the management of dental caries.

So what else can CHX be used for?

The Pharmaceutical Journal states that CHX can be prescribed and recommended for the

  • Oral hygiene and plaque inhibition are crucial for patients at higher risk for dental caries and those struggling with proper hygiene. It's important to maintain a 30-minute interval between tooth brushing and CHX mouthwash, as rinsing may remove fluoride and CHX can interact with anionic toothpaste components.
  • Gingivitis
  • Prevention of secondary infection by treating oral ulcers and erosive mucosa.
  • Management of halitosis
  • Preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia for ventilated patients 

Other uses of CHX include:

A recent systematic review found moderate evidence that pre-procedural mouth rinsing with antiseptics like CHX reduces intraoral bacterial loads and bacteria aerosolized during dental procedures. The same review found plaque reduction and use in gingivitis and dry sockets. It found 'less certain evidence' for other uses.

CHX mouth rinses

Colgate PerioGard Mouthwash offers 0.12% chlorhexidine gluconate. The alcohol-free formulation helps promote gum health and works well for patientswith gingivitis and for controlling plaque. 

CHX is a versatile rinse for both professional and home use.