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The effects of a tea tree oil-containing gel on plaque and

The effects of a tea tree oil-containing gel on plaque and chronic gingivitis
S Soukoulis,* R Hirsch*, Australian Dental Journal 2004;49:(2):78-83
This clinical study assessed the effects of topically applied tea tree oil (TTO)-
containing gel on dental plaque and chronic gingivitis.
Methods: This was a double-blind, longitudinal, non-crossover study in 49 medically fit non-
smokers (24 males and 25 females) aged 18-60 years with severe chronic gingivitis. Subjects were
randomly assigned to three groups and given either TTO-gel (2.5 per cent), chlorhexidine (CHX) gel
(0.2 percent), or a placebo gel to apply with a toothbrush twice daily.
Treatment effects were assessed using the Gingival Index (GI), Papillary Bleeding Index (PBI)
and plaque staining score (PSS) at four and eight weeks.
Results: No adverse reactions to any of the gels were reported. The data were separated into subsets
by tooth (anterior and posterior) and tooth surface (buccal and lingual). The TTO group had
significant reduction in PBI and GI scores. However, TTO did not reduce plaque scores, which
tended to increase over the latter weeks of the study period.
Conclusion: Although further studies are required, the anti-inflammatory properties of TTO-
containing gel applied topically to inflamed gingival tissues may prove to be a useful non-toxic
adjunct to chemotherapeutic periodontal therapy.
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