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Gum Disease – Hillary’s Response to Heather’s Status Report

Here is a response to Heather’s post about her progress:

Hi Dave… Just checked in and read a little on your website and the comment about Chlorhexidine caught my eye. In my opinion, Chlorhexidine is NOT for long term use… Generally I have been taught to recommend it for only 7-10 days post treatment for Scaling and Rootplaning (SRP) then to switch to Listerine or Crest Oral health for Over the counter daily care.

Chlorhexidine is too powerfull for long term use and wipes out all the flora in the mouth to throw off the natural balance. The stain, of course, is a problem, but more than that, Chlorhexidine can also cause in increase in dental tartar accumulation which in turn will make it increasingly difficult for the patient to keep out the plaque…downward spiral…etc, etc…

Also, I know you recommend patients see a Periodontist if they think they have periodontal disease. I do think you can also get good care in a general practice, if there is a hygienist who is taking time and care to do a periodontal exam and is skilled in expanded periodontal treatment.

It can be more cost effective for people to get their conservative periodontal treatment in a general dentist’s office rather than a specialist ( Periodontist) practice.

I hope I am not stepping on any toes, but these are some of my thoughts. All best.. you are doing a great job getting the word out! Congratulations to Heather and all that she is doing to improve her health!!!


Hillary Yasmer Shemin, RDH, BSDH


Dave’s Comments:

Thanks Hillary. It is always delightful to hear your comments and to have you share your knowledge and experience. Thank you on behalf of the readers of this site and, of course, myself.

– Dave


Heather’s Response:

It says that on the label. For me I do not use it daily!!! I am to use
it two weeks then off for a month….. It is a pain to get the stains
off your teeth as it does get on the backs of my front bottom teeth.

I do not use alcohol based mouth washes as I have a dry mouth. The
Clorahexidine has alcohol in it but as I stated I do not use it on a
daily basis or you do become immune to its benefits and that is also
where the three month cleanings come into play they are a must in my
case. Just my thoughts. Read all labels and know the risks and side
effects!!!! Know that long term use is okay if it is not used every day.



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