Skip to main content

Superior plaque and gingivitis efficacy of an essential oil-containing mouthrinse compared to a 0.07% cetylpyridinium chloride mouthrinse (Santos, et al. 2012)

The antiplaque and antigingivitis benefit of adding an antimicrobial rinse to toothbrushing has been clinically proven in numerous long term studies. There is substantial evidence that a marketed mouthrinse containing a fixed combination of essential oils significantly reduces and inhibits supragingival plaque and gingivitis. The objective of this six month clinical study was to compare the effectiveness of rinsing with Cool Mint LISTERINE® Antiseptic and Crest® PRO-HEALTH mouthrinse,in reducing dental plaque and gingivitis in a six-month period.

Methods: A 5% hydroalcohol control rinse served as a negative control. This was a randomized, controlled, observer-blind, parallel group, IRB approved, 6-month clinical trial. At baseline, subjects presented to the clinical site having refrained from oral hygiene for at least 8 hours. Qualified subjects were randomized to one of three treatment groups: Cool Mint LISTERINE® Antiseptic (CML), Crest® PRO-HEALTH (CPH) rinse or 5% hydroalcohol control rinse. Subjects brushed their teeth twice daily with Crest Vivid White toothpaste and rinsed with their assigned rinse for 30 seconds. At the three- and six-month visits, the Modified Gingival Index (MGI), Turesky Modification of the Quigley-Hein Plaque Index (Pl) and the Bleeding Index (Bl) were scored and oral tissue examinations performed. The primary efficacy variables were mean MGI and mean Pl at 6 months. Statistical comparisons were based on a one-way analysis of covariance model with treatment as factor and corresponding baseline value as a covariate. A total of 356 subjects completed the study.

Conclusion: Both CML and CPH, were significantly better than the negative control, (p<0.001) and CML was significantly better than CPH for both MGI and Pl, with 12.6% and 32.3% reductions, respectively, at 6 months (p<0.001). At six month, mean difference from baseline was 0.84 and 0.67 for CML and CPH, respectively. With respect to plaque, six month Pl mean difference from baseline was 1.77 and 1.42 for CML and CPH, respectively. In this six-month, randomized, controlled clinical study Cool Mint LISTERINE® provided superior antiplaque and antigingivitis benefits compared to Crest® PRO-HEALTH rinse.

Santos SL, McGuire JA, Wu MM, et al. Superior plaque and gingivitis efficacy of an essential oil - containingmouthrinse compared to a 0.07% cetylpyridinium chloride mouthrinse. JDH 2012; 86(4) 340 41.


A clinical trial compared the antiplaque and antigingivitis effects of an essential oil mouthrinse with zinc chloride and sodium fluoride to a 0.05% CPC rinse with fluoride.