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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 678-683

Effect of Chlorhexidine on Mutans Streptococci and Dental Caries

Department of Public Health Dentistry, V.S Dental College & Hospital, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

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Mutans streptococci are shown to be highly associated with caries in humans. The bis-biguanide chlorhexidine, which has been studied extensively for over 25 years, is currently the most potent antimicrobial agent against mutans streptococci and dental caries. The most persistent reduction of mutans streptococci has been achieved by chlorhexidine varnishes, followed by gels and mouthwashes. The main clinical problem observed in many studies was the difficulty in suppressing or eliminating the mutans streptococci for extended periods. After treatment, these organisms proliferated and re-colonized the dentition. Reappearance of mutans streptococci is a clinical problem, which emphasizes the need for continued research into effective antimicrobial means of preventing dental caries. There is a lack of consensus on evidence-based treatment protocols and controversy regarding the role of chlorhexidine in caries prevention among oral health providers. Chlorhexidine use for caries prevention should be studied further to develop evidence-based recommendations for their clinical role in caries prevention.

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