While root caries can be seen in young people its frequency increases with age. The growing older populations in many developing countries means that root caries is likely to be an increasing problem. The aim of this review was to see if chlorhexidine varnish (CHX-V) is effective for treating root caries.
The authors searched Medline, the Cochrane-CENTRAL and EMBASE databases as well the reference lists of included studies . Randomised controlled clinical trials (RCTs) or controlled clinical trials (CCTs) in English with root caries incidence and root caries activity as outcome measures were selected
Of the 32 papers identified 6 met the inclusion criteria. The data identified provided no conclusive evidence that the application of CHX-V is effective in patients when regular professional oral prophylaxis is performed. The data suggested that CHX-V at lower concentrations (1 and 10%) may provide protection against root caries in high-risk patients (such as geriatric and xerostomia patients) in the absence of regular professional oral prophylaxis.
Within the limitations of this review, it may be concluded that in the absence of regular professional tooth cleaning and oral hygiene instructions, CHX-V may provide a beneficial effect in patients in need of special care. The strength of this recommendation is graded as ‘weak’.
Slot DE, Vaandrager NC, Van Loveren C, Van Palenstein Helderman WH, Van der Weijden GA. The effect of chlorhexidine varnish on root caries: a systematic review. Caries Res. 2011;45(2):162-73. Epub 2011 Apr 27. Review. PubMed PMID: 21525751.