What is the role of medications in the treatment of gingivitis?

Updated: Jan 18, 2018
  • Author: James M Stephen, MD, FAAEM, FACEP; Chief Editor: Jeff Burgess, DDS, MSD  more...
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In chronic gingivitis, brushing with a fluoride dentifrice will slow disease progression and may help resolution. Most electric toothbrushes have additional benefit over manual brushing. Daily flossing in addition to brushing will reduce plaque and bacterial counts. Recent studies show that brushing followed by rinsing with chlorhexidine or other solutions may have even better results over brushing and flossing. [21, 22] Gum-care–specific preparations that show benefit are available. [23] Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been shown to speed the resolution of inflammation when teeth are being cleaned and scaled to remove plaque. [24, 25] Recently, it has been demonstrated that some herbal formulations may be beneficial in ameliorating periodontal disease. [26, 27]

In patients with ANUG, treatment involves antibiotics, NSAIDs, and topical Xylocaine for pain relief. Saline rinses can help to speed resolution, and oral rinses with a hydrogen peroxide 3% solution also may be of benefit.

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