Chlorhexidine Gluconate For Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene is mostly ignored by many of us. In order to maintain healthy gums and strong teeth, we should definitely maintain good oral hygiene. Irrespective of the age, it is very important to take proper care of your teeth and gums by using the right oral care products. It is a good idea to do a regular dental checkup once in 3 months.  Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing at least once a day, using a mouth wash for oral rinse are some basic practices you should religiously follow on a daily basis to maintain proper oral hygiene. Today in this article we are going to discuss a germicidal mouthwash- Chlorhexidine Gluconate which will help you get rid of most of the oral care issues. Keep reading to know more about an excellent oral solution i.e Chlorhexidine Gluconate.

What Is Chlorhexidine Gluconate? 

Chlorhexidine Gluconate is considered to be a gluconate salt of chlorhexidine, an organic compound which is used as an antiseptic due to its strong antibacterial property. Chlorhexidine Gluconate or CHG acts as a disinfectant and exhibits antimicrobial activity due to which it has a large number of applications. It is used in sterilizing surgical instruments and for disinfecting the skin before surgery. It is used for sanitizing the hands of health care providers.

It is largely used in treating various oral issues such as preventing plaque, gingivitis, bleeding and swelling in gums and yeast infection of the mouth. Chlorhexidine Gluconate is an antimicrobial mouthwash which helps to reduce bacteria which is responsible for causing the bad odour in the mouth.

Role Of Chlorhexidine Gluconate 

Chlorhexidine Gluconate exhibits antiseptic property due to which it is extensively used in many oral health care products which help to make your teeth strong and gums healthy, preventing dental issues. Using CHG mouthwash along with a good toothpaste helps to effectively reduce plaque and gingivitis. Rinsing with 20 ml of the mouthwash solution in the concentration of 0.1% to 0.2% twice a day helps to effectively fight all kinds of bacteria which are responsible for causing dental problems.

Chlorhexidine Gluconate is positively charged and the microbial cell surface is negatively charged. The positively charged CHG reacts with the negatively charged cell surface of the microbes and ruptures the cell membrane. The breakage of the outer membrane of the cell structure causes leakage of the intracellular fluid which ultimately leads to the death of the cell. This mouth rinsing solution is very effective in controlling and eradicating bacteria present in the mouth.

Benefits Of Chlorhexidine Gluconate In Dental Care 

Benefits Of Chlorhexidine Gluconate In Dental Care

Chlorhexidine Gluconate is used in dental practice as an excellent antiplaque agent. It is considered to possess a broad antimicrobial spectrum due to which it is effectively used in treating a wide variety of oral disorders. Due to the antiseptic and antibacterial properties of Chlorhexidine Gluconate, it is extensively used in mouthwashes. This oral rinsing solution should be used as per the instructions given by your dentist. Let us take a closer look at the beneficial properties of Chlorhexidine Gluconate in dental care:

  1. It is a stable component and is soluble in water.
  2. It shows substantivity due to which it has proved to be effective in fighting bacteria for a prolonged time. It attaches to the oral surfaces such as teeth, gum or mucosa and is slowly released into the mouth thereby guaranteeing antibacterial protection for a longer period of time.
  3. Many periodontal diseases are caused due to dental plaque. In order to prevent these periodontal diseases, it is very important to eradicate the plaque and Chlorhexidine Gluconate based mouthwash is very effective in controlling dental plaque. CHG works by binding with anionic salivary glycoproteins and bacteria thereby, preventing its formation on the tooth surfaces.
  4. It is very effective in treating gingivitis.
  5. It is considered to be helpful in reducing the inflammation, swelling of gums and is very effective in preventing bleeding gums.
  6. It exhibits antibacterial property and is very effective in maintaining healthy teeth and gums especially after dental cleaning procedures such as tooth scaling and root planing.
  7. It has a unique ability to bind with the mouth tissue, teeth and oral mucosa. It is then slowly released to eradicate various strains of bacteria and fungi, thereby helping to reduce the bacterial count in the mouth.
  8. It is very effective in plague control after oral surgery or periodontal surgery.
  9. Chlorhexidine Gluconate is a germicidal mouthwash, which is very effective against gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria and yeast organisms.
  10. At physiologic pH, Chlorhexidine Gluconate readily dissociates to release cationic molecules which in turn bind with the negatively charged microbes and rupture the cell wall which causes the leakage of intracellular fluid, thereby causing cell death.

Due to these beneficial properties, Chlorhexidine Gluconate is readily used in mouthwashes, mouth freshener sprays, gels and chips. CHG mouthwashes are most commonly used to control oral problems as the anti-plaque activity of mouthwash is higher as compared to sprays.

Uses Of Chlorhexidine Gluconate 

  1. Chlorhexidine Gluconate or CHG is considered to be a strong disinfectant because of its antiseptic property. The antiseptic property of Chlorhexidine Gluconate is considered to be more effective than povidone-iodine due to which it has a huge number of applications in our daily life.
  2. Chlorhexidine Gluconate is highly effective against gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria, yeast, facultative aerobes and anaerobes. In lower concentrations, CHG is effective against gram-positive and in higher concentrations, it is effectively fighting gram-negative bacteria. Hence, Chlorhexidine Gluconate is used extensively in mouthwashes, mouth sprays, gels and chips.
  3. In modern dentistry, it is also considered to be useful in root canal procedures and as an intracanal dressing.
  4. Chlorhexidine Gluconate is well known for its disinfectant properties, hence useful in disinfecting your hands and skin after surgery. It is also useful in sterilizing surgical instruments.
  5. Due to its antiseptic property Chlorhexidine Gluconate is used in cleaning minor to major cuts and wounds.
  6. Chlorhexidine Gluconate is very useful in treating yeast infection of the mouth.
  7. In cosmetics, Chlorhexidine Gluconate is used in many antiseptic creams, anti-acne creams, antiseptic skin cleansers, antiseptic soaps, hand washes, toothpaste, antiperspirants and deodorants.
  8. In pharmaceuticals, Chlorhexidine Gluconate is used as a preservative in eye drops and throat lozenges for treating sore throat.
  9. Chlorhexidine is effective in preventing candida infection in medically unwell patients.

Thus, Chlorhexidine Gluconate has myriad uses and applications in our day to day life. This is because it acts as a powerful disinfectant and exhibits strong antiseptic property. Due to substantivity, Chlorhexidine Gluconate is known to exhibit prolonged antibacterial activity.

Side Effects Of Chlorhexidine Gluconate 

Long term use of Chlorhexidine Gluconate can result in side effects. Staining of the tooth is the most common side effect as Chlorhexidine Gluconate is known to bind with soft and hard tissues, thereby leading to the staining of tongue and teeth. Chlorhexidine mouthwashes may not be suitable for people with crowns or caps made of composite ionomer. Other side effects of CHG include increased tartar formation on the dental surfaces, mouth and throat irritation, dry mouth. Long term usage of CHG mouthwash can also cause insensitivity to taste especially salt and bitter taste as the mucosa erodes from the mouth. Chlorhexidine Gluconate is considered to be ototoxic in nature which can cause hearing impairment if put in the ear canal.

Some people are known to be allergic to Chlorhexidine Gluconate, hence you should never use Chlorhexidine Gluconate without consulting a doctor. It is not suitable for internal use, you should not swallow it. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should not use Chlorhexidine Gluconate without consulting a doctor, though any side effects are not known. Chlorhexidine Gluconate is not suitable for children under 18 years of age. You should strictly adhere to the dosage instruction given by your dentist as higher doses than recommended can lead to further complications.

Take Away 

Chlorhexidine Gluconate is a strong disinfectant and an antimicrobial agent which is readily soluble in water. It is available in powder or liquid forms. It is very effective in eradicating microorganisms with a broader spectrum than any other disinfectant or antibiotics. Due to its antiseptic property, it is used extensively in oral care products and helps to effectively treat various gum problems and plaque issues. In dentistry, it acts as an antiplaque agent.  It should be used in conjugation with a good toothpaste to effectively get rid of all dental problems. But Chlorhexidine Gluconate should not be considered to be a replacement for brushing and flossing. It is also used in cosmetic products such as antiseptic creams, anti-acne creams, skin cleansers, deodorants etc. It has medicinal and pharmaceutical uses as well.  

 

Written By - Akhila Menon

 

 

 

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