The effect of single morning and evening rinses of chlorhexidine on the development of tooth staining and plaque accumulation
ABSTRACT Abstract A dietary aetiology for tooth staining associated with the use of chlorhexidine has been postulated. The time related activity of chlorhexidine would therefore suggest that evening rinsing would result in less staining than morning rinsing. This study measured tooth and tongue staining and plaque accumulation in a group of 18 volunteers, rinsing once at night or once in the morning with chlorhexidine in a blind cross-over design. Beverage intake during two 10-day periods was prescribed. Significantly more tooth staining, but not tongue staining, was seen with morning rinsing. Plaque accumulation showed a trend to more plaque with morning rinsing, which was not significant. The findings would be consistent with a dietary aetiology for tooth staining. However, these results emphasise the considerable duration of activity of chlorhexidine on surfaces in the oral cavity and the theory of progressive desorption of chlorhexidine from the tooth surface is questioned.