Listerine mouthwash bottle against turqouise background.


A major meta-analysis establishes a new paradigm in daily oral healthcare.


As a dental professional, you know that oral disease is widespread. The severity of the situation, though, is surprising to many.

Bold Facts:

  • A recent study revealed that untreated oral disease affects approximately 3.9 billion people globally. That’s more than half the planet’s total population1,2
  • 90% of the world has some degree of chronic gingivitis3
  • In most industrialized countries, oral disease is the 4th most expensive disease to treat4

With those facts in mind, we want to share with you some bold insights from a landmark meta-analysis that sheds light on how some of the products available to you and your patients can play a leading role in addressing this global health issue.

As you know, a healthy mouth requires controlling biofilms.5-9 Plaque control is fundamental to achieving oral health.10,11 And, while the standard recommendation for at-home oral care focusses on mechanical methods, brushing and flossing aren’t enough. 10,11 In fact, research shows that brushing and flossing only removes approximately 42% of plaque*.12

Removing plaque from the tooth surface is crucial. But, the tooth surface is only 25% of the total area of the mouth exposed to bacteria.13 Other areas in the mouth can act as reservoirs for bacteria that can then re-colonize bacteria on teeth following dental prophylaxis or cleaning treatment.14

The good news is, a landmark meta-analysis has concluded that LISTERINE® Antiseptic can provide a benefit beyond mechanical oral hygiene alone in preventing and reducing plaque accumulation and gingivitis.15

The meta-analysis evaluated these studies with a focus on outcomes applicable to clinical practice. It reviewed randomized, observer-blind, placebo-controlled, published and unpublished clinical studies assessing the effect of an essential oil-containing mouthrinse (MMEO) vs mechanical methods in subjects with mild-to-moderate plaque and gingivitis. The magnitude of the pooled study is extraordinary:15

Statistics of essential oil mouthwash againt blue background.

The bold results: Unequivocal proof that daily use of an essential oil (EO) mouthrinse like LISTERINE® Antiseptic, along with mechanical oral hygiene, provides greater prevention of gingivitis and plaque buildup than mechanical oral hygiene alone.

Specifically, at 6 months, MMEO subjects had nearly 5 times more plaque-free sites vs mechanical method subjects, and over 2 times more healthy gingival sites vs mechanical methods as well.15

Essential oil statistics inside listerine mouthwash bottle outlines

So what does this mean for your practice?

It means that when your patients use an EO mouthrinse like LISTERINE® Antiseptic, you can be confident that it is:

  • Reaching even the hardest-to-reach areas of their mouth
  • Killing bacteria down to the bottom layer
  • Helping maintain the oral microflora at levels compatible with a healthy mouth

All of which can provide a clinically significant benefit to the patient.7,9

Despite the availability of preventive measures, untreated oral disease remains a significant global burden.1 And, while you can’t treat the entire world, you can suggest to patients that adding LISTERINE® Antiseptic to brushing and flossing can provide greater prevention of gingivitis and plaque buildup than mechanical methods alone.

And that’s a bold start.

We hope you found this article of value.


See how LISTERINE® stands up against other mouthrinses.


REACH® floss hasn’t changed, but now you’ll find it under the LISTERINE® name.

References: 1. Marcenes W, Kassebaum NJ, Bernabe E, et al. Global burden of oral conditions in 1990-2010: a systematic analysis. J Dent Res. 2013:92(7):592-597. 2. Census population clock. Accessed May 2, 2016. 3. Coventry J, Griffiths G, Scully C, Tonetti M. Periodontal disease. BMJ. 2000;321(7252):36-39. 4. What is the burden of oral disease? Accessed February 2, 2018. World Health Organization Web site. Accessed April 17, 2015. 5. Marsh PD. Are dental diseases examples of ecological catastrophes? Microbiology. 2003;149:279-294. 6. Do T, Devine D, Marsh P. Oral biofilms: molecular analysis, challenges, and future prospects in dental diagnostics. Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dentistry. 2013;5:11-19. 7. Gurenlian JR. The role of dental plaque biofilm in oral health. J Dent Hygiene. Suppl:4-11. 8. Marsh PD. Dental plaque as a biofilm: The significance of pH in health and caries. Compendium. March 2009;30(2):76-87. 9. Marsh PD. Contemporary perspective on plaque control. Brit Dent J. 2012:212(12):601-606. 10. Gunsolley JC. A meta-analysis of six-month studies of antiplaque and antigingivitis agents. JADA. 2006;137:1649-1657. 11. Gunsolley JC. Clinical efficacy of antimicrobial mouthrinses. J Dent. 2010;38(I):S6-S10. 12. Slot DE, Wiggelinkhuizen L, Rosema NAM, et al. The efficacy of manual toothbrushes following a brushing exercise: a systematic review. Int J Dent Hygiene. 2012;10:187-197. 13. Kerr WJS, Kelly J, Geddes DAM. The areas of various surfaces in the human mouth from nine years to adulthood. J Dent Res. 1991;70(12):1528-1530 14. Boyle P, Koechlin A, Autier P. Mouthwash use and the prevention of plaque, gingivitis and caries. Oral Dis. 2014;20(suppl1):1-68. 15. Araujo M, Charles C, Weinstein R, et al. Meta-analysis of the effect of an essential oil-containing mouthrinse on gingivitis and plaque. J Am Dent Assoc. 2015;146(8):610-622 and/or post hoc analysis of data.   

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