Essential oils mouthrinse proven to reduce levels of plaque

Essential oils mouthrinse
Essential oils mouthrinse could reduce the presence of plaque by up to seven times, according to a new study from Johnson & Johnson, the makers of Listerine

Essential oil mouthrinse, as an adjunct to mechanical cleaning, has been proven to reduce plaque in the mouth.

Johnson & Johnson, the makers of Listerine, presented findings from its meta-analysis, which looked at 5,000 subjects over six months to see if essential oils mouthrinse, when used in combination with mechanical cleaning, had an affect on reducing the amount of plaque found in the mouth.

Professor Anthony Roberts

‘When looking at plaque levels, Araujo and colleagues concluded that 36.9% of participants using an essential oil mouthrinse in addition to mechanical cleaning would have at least 50% of sites without plaque at six months,’ Anthony Roberts, professor of restorative dentistry at Cork University Dental School and Hospital, said.

‘This is impressive, and is especially so when you consider only 5.5% using mechanical cleaning alone achieved a similar effect.

‘As a consequence, clinicians who are managing patients with sub-optimal oral hygiene should consider recommending essential oil mouthrinses as an adjunctive treatment to help to reduce plaque levels, which may assist in the prevention of dental decay and gingivitis.’

Plaque reduction

Large amounts of plaque can often cause gingivitis, which can then lead onto periodontitis if not controlled.

The study compared 2,562 patients who used brushing and some flossing, with 2,544 patients who used brushing, some flossing and essential oils mouthwash.

Results showed that those who used essential oils mouth wash were seven times more likely to have plaque-free sites, compared with those who didn’t use the mouth wash.

Dr Roberto Labella

‘This is the first time this type of study has been undertaken for mouthrinse,’ Dr Roberto Labella, scientific engagement leader for EMEA, said.

‘What has been proven is that essential oils, in a mouthrinse form, will penetrate deep in the layers of accumulated plaque.

‘Whatever plaque is left behind after brushing and flossing, by using an essential oil mouthrinse, you will penetrate from the top of the thick plaque layer to kill the bacteria left behind that is not removed by brushing.’

Gingival health

Araujo et al (2015) also reviewed the impact on gingival health from adjunctive use of essential oil-containing mouthrinse.

For further details, read the full article at and for Listerine resources for dental health professionals visit


Araujo M, Charles C, Weinstein R, McGuire J, Parikh-Das A, Du Q, Zhang J, Berlin J and Gunsolley J (2015) Meta-analysis of the effect of an essential oil-containing mouthrinse on gingivitis and plaque. JADA 146(8): 610-22

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