The answer is yes. And here’s the proof.


Oral disease has truly become a global burden. In fact, you may be astonished to learn that chronic gingivitis affects over 90% of the world’s population to some degree. And it’s prevalent at all ages.1 In addition, severe periodontitis is now the 6th-most–prevalent oral disease in the world,2 affecting between 5-20% of all adults.3

Severe periodontitis is the 6th-most–prevalent oral disease worldwide, with 5-20% of adults affected.2,3

Clearly, even with the great strides made in oral healthcare over the years, there is still a great need for vigilance when caring for patients with or at risk for periodontal disease. That’s why the LISTERINE® Brand has continually innovated oral healthcare products to address this major issue. In fact, a recent study and analysis has conclusively shown that adding a rinse like LISTERINE® Antiseptic to a regimen of brushing and flossing is a key component to making this step change happen.

So where’s the proof?

One of the biggest reasons you can feel confident recommending LISTERINE® products to your patients, is the robust clinical evidence behind them.

A key 6-month study, Adjunctive benefit of an essential oil-containing mouthrinse in reducing plaque and gingivitis in patients who brush and floss regularly” (Sharma et al),4 set out to determine the incremental benefit of the adjunctive use of LISTERINE® Antiseptic to a brushing and flossing routine, in inhibiting both whole-mouth plaque and gingivitis.4

This controlled, observer-blind, parallel-group clinical study of subjects with mild-to–moderate gingivitis randomized subjects into one of 3 groups: Brushing + Hydroalcohol (5%) Control Rinse (BC); Brushing + Flossing + Control (BFC); and Brushing + Flossing + LISTERINE® Antiseptic (BFEO). The study produced conclusive results:

  • Whole-mouth mean Plaque Index score at 6 months: BFEO rinse group experienced 56.3% reduction vs BC4
  • Whole-mouth mean Modified Gingival Index (MGI) score at 6 months: BFEO rinse group experienced 29.9% reduction vs BC4

The study results showed a 56.3% reduction in whole-mouth mean Plaque Index score, and a 29.9% reduction in Modified Gingival Index score at 6 months, for those in the BFEO rinse group.4

Clearly, this long-term study demonstrated conclusively that using LISTERINE® Antiseptic mouthrinse twice daily significantly improves the benefits of a recommended regimen of brushing and flossing. For more information on the study, click here.


This conclusive Sharma et al 2004 study4 was followed up by a post hoc analysis, also called the SITE-WISE ANALYSIS®.5  The objective of SITE-WISE ANALYSIS® was to evaluate the combined effectiveness of mechanical methods with essential oil-containing mouthrinse, such as LISTERINE® Antiseptic, vs mechanical methods alone, in achieving site-specific, healthy gingival tissue.5

SITE-WISE ANALYSIS<sup>®</sup> evaluates efficacy at multiple sites per tooth, across the entire mouth—using a Modified Gingival Index (4 sites per tooth).

The SITE-WISE ANALYSIS® scored a maximum of 108 sites per subject for gingival health (28 teeth x 4 surfaces/tooth), using the Modified Gingival Index (MGI)—a visual, noninvasive scoring index to measure gingivitis.5

In the Modified Gingival Index (MGI), ‘Healthy’ sites were those with mild (1) to no (0) inflammation, based on the MGI scores. Healthy sites provide more clinically relevant measurements.

Sites were analyzed from 237 healthy subjects, each with mild-to–moderate gingivitis, who were followed for 6 months by Sharma et al.4 The mean percentage of healthy sites was calculated by taking numbers of sites with MGI scores of 0 or 1, divided by total number of sites (maximum number of sites was 108).5

Maxillary Marginal6

Maxillary Proximal6

Mandibular Marginal6

Mandibular Proximal6

The results of the post hoc SITE-WISE ANALYSIS® of the Sharma et al study data were as impressive as they were conclusive—not only confirming the benefits of adding rinse to an oral health regimen, but also showing that LISTERINE® Antiseptic provides twice as many healthy gingival sites compared to brushing and flossing alone.5  

With such strong evidence reinforcing the essentiality of rinsing in a daily oral care routine in the prevention and reduction of gingivitis, you can feel supremely confident when recommending LISTERINE® products to your patients. What’s more, these results confirm that improving oral health on a global scale is more than just possible, it’s achievable. And it all starts with you and your recommendation.

We hope you found this article of value.  


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*Healthy=MGI scores of 0 or 1 at 6 months.
†Plus placebo negative control rinse.
‡After 6 months of daily use.

References: 1.Coventry J, Griffiths G, Scully C, Tonetti M. Periodontal disease. BMJ. 2000;321(7252):36-39. 2. Marcenes W, Kassebaum NJ, Bernabé E, et al. Global burden of oral conditions in 1990-2010: a systematic analysis. J Dent Res. 2013;92(7):592-597. 3. BPetersen PE, Bourgeois D, Ogawa H, et al. The global burden of oral diseases and risks to oral health. Bull World Health Organ. 2005;83(9):661-669. 4. Sharma N, Charles CH, Lynch MC, et al. Adjunctive benefit of an essential oil-containing mouthrinse in reducing plaque and gingivitis in patients who brush and floss regularly: a six-month study. J Am Dent Assoc. 2004;135:496-504. 5. Data on file, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.