Purpose: The present study was conducted to assess the effectiveness of Terminalia chebula on plaque and gingival inflammation and compare it with the gold standard chlorhexidine (CHX 0.2%) and distilled water as control (placebo).
Materials and Methods: A double-blind randomised control trial was conducted among undergraduate students who volunteered. They were randomly allocated into three study groups: 1) Terminalia chebula mouthwash (n = 30); 2) chlorhexidine (active control) (n = 30); 3) distilled water (placebo) (n = 30). Assessment was carried out according to plaque score and gingival score. Statistical analysis was carried out to compare the effect of both mouthwashes. ANOVA and post-hoc LSD tests were performed using SPSS version 17 with p ≤ 0.05 considered statistically significant.
Results: Our result showed that Terminalia chebula mouthrinse is as effective as chlorhexidine in reducing dental plaque and gingival inflammation. The results demonstrated a significant reduction of gingival bleeding and plaque indices in both groups over a period of 15 and 30 days as compared to the placebo.
Conclusion: The results of the present study indicate that Terminalia chebula may prove to be an effective mouthwash. Terminalia chebula extract mouthrinse can be used as an alternative to chlorhexidine mouthrinse as it has similar properties without the side-effects of the latter.
Keywords: chlorhexidine, oral health, periodontal index, Terminalia chebula