CHLORHEXIDINE GLUCONATE and PERIDEX

Chlorhexidine Gluconate, also called Peridex, is an antibacterial mouthrinse commonly used in the dental field.  It is only available by prescription, but many dental offices use it routinely.

It is mainly used to help treat periodontal disease (dental bone loss) and to help decrease the amount of dental cavities a person gets.  It is also sometimes used as a mouthrinse after implants are placed.

It is not used as the primary treatment in either case, but more as an adjunctive treatment.



PERIODONTAL DISEASE:

For example, periodontal disease, or gum disease is normally treated by scaling and root planing, which is some people call deep cleanings. Unlike regular dental cleanings, or prophies, the hygienist cleans well below the gum line and removes all the bacteria filled debris that causes the dental bone loss.

When this is done, sometimes chlorhexidine gluconate is irrigated under the gums to aid in disinfecting the areas under the gums.

Dentists will also sometimes prescribe Peridex after the cleanings to help continue the fight against the gum disease.


DENTAL DECAY:

It has been shown that certain strains of bacteria cause dental cavities.  Regular use of chlorhexidine gluconate has been shown to reduce the amount of bacteria that causes cavities, thus reducing the incidence in patients.

Again, it can't be used alone, as regular, effective brushing and flossing is the best way to combat dental decay.  However, for people that are very prone to getting cavities, it can be a very effective aid.


DOSAGE:

For dental cavities, it is normally recommended to rinse 1x/day for 1 week each month.  After the 7 days, Peridex has a residual effect which can last about 3 weeks.  That said, any medication that sits in a medicine cabinet for 3 weeks is likely going to sit there forever, so it is probably easier to just use it daily or every other day to ensure that it is being used.


RISKS:

The main drawback to its regular usage is that sometimes it can cause a very slight discoloration of the teeth.  This is only temporary as the teeth will go back to normal after chlorhexidine gluconate is discontinued.  It is usually a very minor, if noticible at all, grayish tint. It may sound bad but the benefit to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease should far outweigh a temporary esthetic concern.


OTHER DENTAL USES:

Because of the antibacterial properties, some dentists use it Peridex to irrigate root canals when they are being done, or to disinfect crowns and the tooth before cementing them in the mouth. 


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