Frequently Asked Questions - Preprocedural Mouth Rinse
- Are preprocedural mouth rinses recommended to reduce contamination from aerosols and spatter?
- Is a preprocedural mouth rinse recommended to reduce dental procedure-induced bacteremia?
- Recommendation for preprocedural mouth rinses
Antimicrobial mouth rinses used by patients before a dental procedure are intended to reduce the number of microorganisms released by a patient in the form of aerosols or spatter that subsequently can contaminate equipment, operatory surfaces, and dental health care personnel.
No scientific evidence indicates that preprocedural mouth rinsing prevents clinical infections among patient or dental health care personnel. However, studies have shown that a preprocedural rinse with a product containing an antimicrobial product (e.g., chlorhexidine gluconate, essential oils, povidone iodine) can reduce the level of oral microorganisms generated in aerosols or spatter during routine dental procedures with rotary instruments (e.g., dental handpieces, ultrasonic scalers). Preprocedural mouth rinses can be most beneficial before procedures (e.g., prophylaxis cup or ultrasonic scaling) where a rubber dam cannot be used to minimize aerosol and spatter.
Antimicrobial mouth rinses used by the patient before a dental procedure can decrease the number of microorganisms introduced into the patient's bloodstream during invasive dental procedures. The scientific evidence is not clear, however, concerning the incidence and nature of bacteremia from invasive dental procedures, the relationship of bacteremia to disease, and the preventive benefit of antimicrobial rinses. Limited studies have not shown mouth rinsing to reduce substantially the numbers of oral microorganisms in patients' blood. However, the American Heart Association (1997) suggests that patients at risk for bacterial endocarditis use an antimicrobial mouth rinse before dental treatment. Further study is needed to determine the effectiveness of preprocedural mouth rinsing for reducing dental procedure-induced bacteremia and the relationship of bacteremia to disease.
CDC makes no recommendation regarding the use of preprocedural antimicrobial mouth rinses to prevent clinical infections among dental health care personnel or patients.
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