University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository


Primary Care


Thomas Colletti, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA



Purpose: The purpose of this manuscript is to examine the preventative effect chlorhexidine gluconate has on dental caries and gingival inflammation causing gingivitis. Additionally, further exploration between the correlation of chlorhexidine gluconate and bacteremia is discussed.

Method: PubMed literature searches were conducted with the following search items: "chlorhexidine," "dental caries," "gingivitis," "risk," and "bacteremia." Eighteen pertinent articles were identified which will serve as the basis for this clinical review. The University of Lynchburg Knight-Capron Library website was utilized to obtain electronic versions of articles after the articles were screened.

Results: Of the eighteen sources utilized, twelve randomized controlled trials were pertinent to the topic and the remaining were supplemental resources. Two systematic reviews with a series of randomized controlled trials were used to determine the relationship between chlorhexidine gluconate mouthwash and plaque build-up leading to gum disease or gingivitis. Additionally, a review of effectiveness and guidelines of chlorhexidine gluconate supplemented the preposition. The literature search returned limited evidence-based research exploring the preventative effect and correlation of chlorhexidine gluconate with gingivitis and bacteremia. This study will address the benefits chlorhexidine gluconate has on each component.

Conclusion: Chlorhexidine gluconate was first introduced in the United Kingdom as a disinfectant and topic antiseptic.1 While derivatives of chlorhexidine gluconate may be used as sponge dressing, lubricant, bar soap, and a vascular access catheter, the preventative effect on oral health needs to be established.1 Further studies are needed to examine the correlation between chlorhexidine gluconate and bacteremia, especially after dental extractions. This study aims to explore whether or not chlorhexidine gluconate is a preventative agent to dental caries and whether it serves as an additive to tooth brushing.

Keywords: Chlorhexidine gluconate, Dental caries, Gingivitis, Bacteremia


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