Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice

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Prevention of alveolar osteitis after third molar surgery: Comparative study of the effect of warm saline and chlorhexidine mouth rinses

O.D. Osunde, C.E. Anyanechi, G.O. Bassey


Background: Chlorhexidine mouth rinses have a proven efficacy for the prevention of alveolar osteitis after third molar surgery. This study compares the efficacy of warm saline rinse, a component of postextraction instructions, with that of chlorhexidine in our institution over a period of 2 years.

Patients and Methods: Apparently healthy patients who were referred to the Oral Surgery Clinic of our institution, with an indication for surgical extraction of lower third molar were prospectively, consecutively, and uniformly randomized into warm saline and chlorhexidine groups. The experimental group (n = 50/100) were instructed to gargle twice daily with warm saline, whereas the chlorhexidine group (n = 50/100) were instructed to gargle with 0.12% chlorhexidine. Information on demographic, types and level of impaction, indications for extraction, and development of alveolar osteitis were obtained and analyzed. Comparative statistics were done using Pearson’s Chi-square, Fisher’s exact, or Mann–Whitney U-tests as appropriate. P <0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: The demographic, types and level of impaction as well as indications for extractions were comparable between the study groups (P > 0.05). The overall prevalence of alveolar osteitis was 5%. There was no statistically significant difference between application of warm saline and 0.12% chlorhexidine rinse with respect to the development of alveolar osteitis (P = 0.648).

Conclusion: Warm saline mouth rinse is equally as effective as chlorhexidine mouth rinse, as prophylaxis against prevention of alveolar osteitis after third molar surgery.

Keywords: Alveolar osteitis, chlorhexidine, prevention, warm saline
AJOL African Journals Online