Background: To evaluate the efficacy of tulsi extract mouthrinse in reducing halitosis as compared to chlorhexidine and hydrogen peroxide mouthrinses using spectrophotometric analysis. Material and Methods: It was a parallel, single center, double blinded randomized controlled trial of 15 days duration. A total of 300 participants were screened, out of which 45 subjects those fulfilled inclusion criteria of age range 17-35 years were included in the trial. The participants were randomly provided with tulsi, hydrogen peroxide or chlorhexidine mouthwashes (control group) to use 10 ml twice daily for 15 days. Clinical measurements were taken at baseline and 15 days using arbitrary 0-5 scale for organoleptic odor assessments, spectrophotometric analysis for Volatile Sulphide Compounds (VSCs) from saliva samples, Löe & Silness gingival index and Silness & Löe plaque index. Results: After intervention, organoleptic, VSCs, gingival and plaque scores showed statistically significant decrease in all the three study groups. The mean percentage reduction in VSC and organoleptic scores was significantly greater in chlorhexidine and hydrogen peroxide groups than in the tulsi group and the mean percentage reduction in plaque and gingival scores was significantly greater in chlorhexidine group than in hydrogen peroxide and tulsi group. Conclusions: Tulsi may not have the efficacy of chlorhexidine and hydrogen peroxide mouthrinses. But, Tulsi is effective in reducing halitosis, plaque and gingivitis and with its lack of side effects & cost effectiveness, can be an effective & economic tool to deal with halitosis. The spectrophotometric technique appears to be a promising method for evaluation of oral malodor.
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