Health Information and Tools > Medications >  Chlorhexidine Gluconate Rinse - Oral

Main Content

Chlorhexidine Gluconate Rinse - Oral

Pronunciation: khlor-HEX-i-deen GLOO-koe-nate

Common Brand Name(s): Oro-Clense, Peridex, Periogard

Important: How To Use This Information

This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

Uses

This medication is used along with regular tooth brushing/flossing to treat gingivitis, a gum disease that causes red, swollen, and easily bleeding gums. Chlorhexidine belongs to a class of drugs known as antimicrobials. It works by decreasing the amount of bacteria in the mouth, helping to reduce swelling and redness of the gums and bleeding when you brush.

Other Uses

This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

This drug may also be used by people with weakened immune systems to decrease mouth sores (mucositis). It may also be used to help hospitalized patients breathing through a ventilator not get pneumonia.

How To Use

Rinse your mouth with the solution after brushing your teeth as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily (after breakfast and at bedtime).

Measure 1/2 ounce (15 milliliters) of the solution using the supplied measuring cup. Swish the solution in your mouth for 30 seconds, and then spit it out.

Do not swallow the solution or mix it with any other substance. After using chlorhexidine, wait at least 30 minutes before rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash, brushing your teeth, eating, or drinking.

Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day. It may take up to 6 weeks to see the full benefits of using this medication.

Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse.

Side Effects

Tooth/tongue staining, increased tartar, mouth/throat irritation, dry mouth, and change in taste of food/drinks may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

To decrease staining of teeth and mouth surfaces, brush with toothpaste 3 times daily, brushing more on the stained areas. Use of a "tartar control" toothpaste and electric toothbrush may be more effective. See your dentist at least every 6 months for tooth cleaning/tartar removal. Staining from this medication that may occur on dental work (such as crowns or veneers) usually can only be removed by a dentist/hygienist. To decrease the effect on how food tastes, eat first, followed by tooth brushing and then chlorhexidine rinse.

Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor or dentist has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:

  • mouth or skin rash
  • itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
  • severe dizziness
  • trouble breathing

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before using chlorhexidine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:

  • dental crowns, veneers, or fillings (especially if on the front teeth and if made of porcelain)

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication.

It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Alberta residents can call PADIS (Poison and Drug Information Service) 24 hours a day at 1-800-332-1414. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Keep all medical/dental appointments so that your progress can be followed. Consult your doctor/dentist for more details.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember unless it is close to a mealtime or near the time for the next dose. In those cases, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

If you have questions about missing a dose or you don't have more medication, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Storage

Store at room temperature. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

‚Äč