Chlorhexidine is a very useful drug. It is often used in dentistry as a mouthwash in any case where we want to reduce the bacterial load in the mouth. It is therefore very useful in case of gum diseases (Gingivitis,parodontitis, pericoronitis), so anything that goes from a bleeding gum to a wisdomtooth who is not completely erupted where the gum partially covering the wisdom tooth starts to hurt.
HOW TO USE IT?
Normally twice a day for at lest 30-60 seconds, 30 minutes or more after brushing your teeth in a concentration of 0,2% or 0,12% (which is less than 0,2%) from few days to up to about 2-4 weeks. Longer use will have the unpleasant effect to stain your teeth with a brown/black colour in the area where you didn’t brush properly your teeth, so usually close to the gums and between your teeth. The reason why you need to wait at least 30 minutes after brushing your teeth to use it, is because there are some ingredients (e.g. sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium monofluorophosphate) in many toothpastes which will inactivate the chlorexidin.
IS IT SAFE?
Except for the stains which can be removed with a professional cleaning, you could be allergic to it. Moreover, it can temporary (few hours) affect your ability to taste foods, but i mean if you just brushed your teeth, it doesn’t really make sense to eat again.
ARE ALL MOUTHWASHES WITH CLORHEXIDIN THE SAME?
No, if possible prefer the water-based one to the alcohol-based one, it is healthier and it will not increase the dryness in your mouth. 0,3 and 0,2 % are used for short time in the acute phase and 0,12 or 0,05% for longer use in order to avoid relapses or for mantainance protocols
WHAT IF I AM PREGNANT?
First of all congratulations, secondly, it is considered relatively safe (Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus), but as always with pregnancies, caution is recommended. So, if it is not strictly necessary, it is better to avoid it. And remember that it is excreted in human milk while breastfeeding.