Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 1–16 | Cite as

Natural compounds containing mouthrinses in the management of dental plaque and gingivitis: a systematic review

  • Yong Chen
  • Ricky WK Wong
  • Colman McGrath
  • Urban Hagg
  • C Jayampath Seneviratne



To evaluate the effectiveness of natural compounds containing mouthrinse (NCCM) as an adjunct to unsupervised oral hygiene in the management of dental plaque and gingivitis.

Materials and methods

An electronic search for clinical studies of NCCMs was conducted in Medline-PubMed, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and EMBASE for a period spanning from the earliest available date in each database up to February 2013. Plaque index, gingival index, and gingival bleeding index were selected as primary outcomes. The methodological quality of the studies was assessed according to the “Levels of Evidence” outlined by the Center of Evidence-Based Medicine, and to the Jadad scale.


The screen yielded 2,236 titles and abstracts that met the inclusion criteria. These identified 11 clinical trials testing 13 different NCCMs, and were used for data extraction. Heterogeneity and the limited number of studies on any individual NCCM precluded a formal meta-analysis. Of the 13 NCCMs tested, eight demonstrated positive results, and few reported any adverse effects or events.


Evidence proving the effectiveness of NCCM as an adjunct to unsupervised oral hygiene for plaque and gingivitis control is still insufficient. However, some natural products (compounds) may have oral health benefits, so further high-quality study is warranted.

Clinical relevance

This review provides an overview of the strength of clinical evidence regarding the effectiveness of natural compounds containing mouthrinses in promoting gingival health.


Plant extracts Mouthwash Gingivitis Plaque Clinical trial Systematic review 



We declare that this research was not supported by any external grant. The authors have no conflicts of interest to report related to this study


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yong Chen
    • 1
  • Ricky WK Wong
    • 2
    • 5
  • Colman McGrath
    • 3
  • Urban Hagg
    • 2
  • C Jayampath Seneviratne
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of OrthodonticsAffiliated Stomatological Hospital of Fujian Medical UniversityFujianChina
  2. 2.Discipline of Orthodontics, Faculty of DentistryThe University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  3. 3.Discipline of Dental Public Health, Faculty of DentistryThe University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  4. 4.Discipline of Oral Sciences, Faculty of DentistryNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  5. 5.OrthodonticsPrince Philip Dental HospitalHong KongChina

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