Effects of 0.12% chlorhexidine gluconate on experimental gingivitis in non-human primates: Clinical and microbiological alterations

David Cappelli, S. C. Holt, R. E. Singer, H. M. Pickrum, J. L. Ebersole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: This study examined the efficacy of 0.12% chlorhexidine gluconate (Peridex®) to reduce gingival inflammation in the absence of mechanical hygiene and its effect on the oral microbial ecology in a non- human primate (NhP) model of gingivitis. DESIGN: Twelve NhP were stratified based on existing inflammation into two groups of six NhP per group. Oral hygiene was performed on both groups so as to reach a level of gingival health (BOP ≤0.3) at the conclusion of the hygiene phase. One group received 30 ml of 0.12% chlorhexidine gluconate twice daily 7 days/week, and a second group received 30 ml of placebo (distilled water colored to match the active) using the same regimen for 10 weeks. MEASUREMENT OUTCOMES: Clinical parameters including plaque (PLI), pocket depth (PD), attachment level (AL), and bleeding on probing (BOP) were evaluated at 2-week intervals. Subgingival plaque samples were collected by paper point at 2-week intervals and cultured for predominant cultivable bacteria. RESULTS: By week 2, there was a difference in BOP between the groups, which reached statistical significance by week 4. This difference in BOP was maintained throughout the course of the study. Chlorhexidine gluconate (0.12%) had no significant effect on PLI, PD, or AL; although PD was greater in the placebo group after week 2 and throughout the study. Microbiologically, at week 4, the treatment group had a reduction in total bacterial counts, as well as Gram positive bacteria, and total black pigmented bacteria, compared to the placebo group. However, only the differences in Actinomyces spp. reached significance. Interestingly, when both groups received only one treatment/day on the weekends (ie, day 6 and 7), an associated loss of statistically significant differences between the two groups was observed. Additional experiments dosing the non-human primates once daily, 5 days/week yielded no significant differences in clinical parameters, including bleeding, when compared with the placebo group. CONCLUSION: Non-human primates provided a model system of gingivitis for testing antimicrobial agent effects on the subgingival ecology and accompanying inflammatory responses. Chlorhexidine gluconate (0.12%), even in the absence of mechanical hygiene, was effective in inhibiting clinical signs of inflammation, associated with alterations in the subgingival microbial ecology, most notably Actinomyces spp.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-131
Number of pages8
JournalOral Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2000


  • Chlorhexidine gluconate (0.12%)
  • Gingivitis
  • Non-human primate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Dentistry(all)


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