Beyond brushing and interdental cleaning?

interdental cleaning listerine mouthwashJohnson & Johnson Ltd, the makers of Listerine, are committed to supporting dental professionals in their efforts to help patients achieve and maintain gum health.

Also committed to supporting evidence-based practice, Johnson & Johnson Ltd recognise that where some patients may require further support for plaque management, an adjunctive mouthwash can help (Figuero et al, 2019).

The possible need for such an adjunct is highlighted by the Adult Dental Health Survey of 2009. This indicates that 66% of dentate adults have some visible plaque. Despite 75% of participants claiming to brush their teeth twice a day. And 25% of those reporting they clean interdentally daily.

So, whilst the standard recommendation remains to brush the teeth and clean interdentally, evidence suggests that the adjunctive use of a mouthwash may provide benefits beyond mechanical cleaning for some people in specific circumstances (Figuero et al, 2019).

Beyond brushing and interdental cleaning

In terms of mouthwash formulations, Figuero and colleagues (2019) conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis exploring the adjunctive use of 11 different mouth rinse formulations (Figuero et al, 2019).

They concluded that adjunctive antiseptics in mouthwash provide statistically significant reductions in plaque compared to mechanical cleaning alone at six months (Figuero et al, 2019).

They also came to the conclusion that: ‘…despite the high variability in the number of studies comparing each active agent and the different risks of bias, CHX [chlorhexidine] and EOs [essential oils], in mouthrinses appeared to be the most effective active agents for plaque…control’ (Figuero et al, 2019).

The Figuero and colleagues’ (2019) outcomes add to the pre-existing evidence base presented by Araujo and colleagues (2015). This was the first meta-analysis to demonstrate the clinically significant, site-specific benefit of adjunctive essential oil mouthwash in people within a six-month period (that is, between dental visits) (Araujo et al, 2015).

The analysis revealed that 36.9% of subjects using mechanical methods with essential oil-containing mouthwash experienced at least 50% plaque-free sites after six months. This is compared to just 5.5% of patients using mechanical methods alone (Araujo et al, 2015).

Adjunctive options for your patients

Johnson & Johnson Ltd has two products in its range to help support patients’ gum health. These are Listerine Total Care and Listerine Advanced Defence Gum Treatment.

It has been demonstrated that, when used as an adjunct to mechanical cleaning, Listerine Total Care is clinically proven top achieve five times more plaque-free sites than mechanical methods alone. This may help to prevent gum disease (Araujo et al, 2015).

Listerine Advanced Defence Gum Treatment is a twice-daily mouthwash. It is clinically proven to treat gingivitis as an adjunct to mechanical cleaning (Gallob et al, 2015).

It is formulated with unique LAE (Ethyl Lauroyl Arginate) technology. This forms a physical coating on the pellicle to prevent bacteria attaching, and so interrupts biofilm formation. When used after brushing, it helps to treat gingivitis as demonstrated by the reduction of bleeding by 50.9% (p<0.001) in just four weeks (Gallob et al, 2015).

With Listerine Advanced Defence Gum Treatment clinically proven to interrupt the plaque colonisation process (Gallob et al, 2015), this may offer a viable option in terms of supporting patients’ gum health in specific circumstances.

Through our range of mouthwashes, Johnson & Johnson Ltd helps dental teams work in partnership with patients. The specific products improve home care routine outcomes significantly. This helps to support the prevention or management of periodontal disease when used in conjunction with mechanical cleaning.

For more information, 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. J Am Dent Assoc 146: 610-22

Gallob JT, Lynch M, Charles C, Ricci-Nittel D, Mordas C, Gambogi R, Revankar R, Mutti B and Labella R (2015) A randomized trial of ethyl lauroyl arginate-containing mouthrinse in the control of gingivitis. J Clin Periodontol 42: 740-7

Figuero E, Roldán S, Serrano J, Escribano M, Martín C and Preshaw P (2019) Efficacy of adjunctive therapies in patients with gingival inflammation. A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Perio 47 (S22): 125-43


Get the most out of your membership by subscribing to Dentistry CPD
  • Access 600+ hours of verified CPD courses
  • Includes all GDC recommended topics
  • Powerful CPD tracking tools included
Register for webinar
Add to calendar