CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Eur J Dent 2020; 14(01): 055-062
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1703999
Original Article

Tea Tree Oil versus Chlorhexidine Mouthwash in Treatment of Gingivitis: A Pilot Randomized, Double Blinded Clinical Trial

Francesca Ripari
1   Department of Oral and Maxillo facial Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
Alessia Cera
1   Department of Oral and Maxillo facial Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
Monica Freda
1   Department of Oral and Maxillo facial Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
Giulia Zumbo
1   Department of Oral and Maxillo facial Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
Francesca Zara
1   Department of Oral and Maxillo facial Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
Iole Vozza
1   Department of Oral and Maxillo facial Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
› Author Affiliations


Objective The study evaluated the efficacy of tea tree oil for the treatment of gingivitis.

Materials and Methods The tea tree oil was administered in the form of mouthwash and then compared with a mouthwash with chlorhexidine 0.12%. Both treatments were domestic and lasted for 14 days. Patients were chosen according to random criteria, aged between 18 and 60 years, and who showed a clinically evident gingivitis. In clinical evaluation, the following clinical criteria were taken into consideration: gingival index (GI), plaque index (PI), bleeding index (BI), probing depth (PD), the presence of dental dyschromia, and the presence of taste alteration. The subjects were evaluated before (T0) and after the treatment (T1), and the data collected for each patient were recorded on a periodontal chart.

Results The comparison showed that tea tree oil offered a better improvement in the evaluation of PI, BOP, and PD; furthermore, it did not cause dental dyschromia and taste alteration. In group A, treated with tea tree oil, PI decreased from 53.25 to 5.50% and BI from 38.41 to 4.22%. In group B, treated with chlorhexidine PI decreased from 47.69 to 2.37% and BI from 32.93 to 6.28%. Instead, the subjects using chlorhexidine 0.12% blamed a distaste for the product that caused a slight taste alteration; 20% of them showed iatrogenic dental dyschromia.

Conclusions The collected data showed the efficacy of both treatments. Although further research works will be necessary, this study showed that tea tree oil could be an effective nontoxic substitute for the therapy of gingivitis.

Publication History

Article published online:
13 March 2020

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Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers Private Ltd.
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