Background: Dental plaque is the major etiologic agent for the initiation of gingivitis. Gingival disease can progress to periodontitis which if left untreated may eventually compromise the entire periodontium. Various mouth rinses are available in the market, amongst which Chlorhexidine is the most popular. It is recognized as the primary agent for chemical plaque control, its clinical efficacy being well known to the profession. But it cannot be used on a long term basis because of various side effects like brown discoloration, taste perturbation, oral mucosal lesions, parotid swelling, enhanced supragingival plaque formation and sometimes unacceptable taste. Aim of the study: To study efficacy of Chlorhexidine vs Herbal mouthwash mouth wash in college students. Materials and methods: The study was conducted on students of the college with each group having 40 students. Gingival index (GI) and plaque index (PI) index score differences were analyzed in the students. All the recordings were done by the same examiner, the baseline scores were brought down near to 0 by supragingival scaling and polishing and it was confirmed with the of disclosing agent. Subjects were randomly allocated via simple random sampling technique (lottery method) to the two groups and were asked to refrain from mechanical plaque control (tooth brushing and flossing) but to rinse with mouthwashes as per prescribed therapeutic dose for 5 days. Results: We observed that both the groups had significant improvement in mean plaque index over 6 days. The result in improvement of plaque index in both the groups is comparative and is statistically significant. We observed that significant improvement in mean GI of the patients was observed in both the groups. The results were statistically significant. Conclusion: Within the limitations of the present study, it can be concluded that chlorhexidine mouthwash and herbal mouthwash are effective in prevention of gingivitis and periodontitis. Thus, herbal mouthwash can be effectively used in place of chlorhexidine mouthwash to avoid its long term side effects.
Keywords: Chlorhexidine, herbal mouthwash, plaque, gingival health