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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Efficacy of Listerine, Meridol and chlorhexidine mouthrinses on plaque, gingivitis and plaque bacteria vitality.

The experimental gingivitis model was used to compare the anti-plaque, anti-gingivitis and anti-microbial efficacies of a phenolic compound (Listerine) and an amine/stannous fluoride mouthwash (Meridol), using a placebo preparation as negative control and a chlorhexidine solution as positive control in a double-blind study. After professional toothcleaning, 36 volunteers performed optimal oral hygiene for a period of 2 weeks. They then ceased all oral hygiene procedures for 21 days during which they rinsed twice daily with 1 of the 4 mouthrinses. After 3 weeks of rinsing, plaque indices remained the lowest in the chlorhexidine group, while subjects using Listerine or Meridol harbored similar indices significantly lower than that of individuals rinsing with the placebo solution. Up to that time, the gingival index scores were equal in all groups except for the chlorhexidine group in which the values only amounted to half of these encountered in the other groups. The plaque vitality scores showed a bactericidal effect in vivo of chlorhexidine during the entire time of experimental gingivitis. In contrast, the data gave no evidence of an antibacterial effect in vivo of Listerine. The efficacy of Meridol to kill micro-organisms was similar to chlorhexidine during the early stages of plaque accumulation and, with time, became insignificant. This study has demonstrated that chlorhexidine was superior to Listerine and Meridol in its ability to maintain low plaque scores and gingival health during this 3-week period of no mechanical oral hygiene. Moreover, it was also shown that Meridol was as effective as Listerine in reducing plaque accumulation and, in contrast to Listerine, possessed a remarkable but transient antibacterial effect in vivo.[1]


  1. Efficacy of Listerine, Meridol and chlorhexidine mouthrinses on plaque, gingivitis and plaque bacteria vitality. Brecx, M., Netuschil, L., Reichert, B., Schreil, G. Journal of clinical periodontology. (1990) [Pubmed]
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