AbstractAim: Since deaf children are unable to comprehend or cooperate with dental treatment due to lack of communication, preventive measures may be an important way to control the high prevalence of dental caries in these patients. The aim of the this study was to evaluate the effect of an intensive treatment with chlorhexidine (CHX) gel, containing either saccharin or aspartame, in deaf children highly infected with mutans streptococci (MS). Methods: Eighteen children were randomly divided into two groups, according to the sweetener used to improve the CHX gel bitter taste: saccharin or aspartame. Before CHX treatment, saliva samples were collected to establish baseline microbial data for MS. CHX gel was applied on two consecutive days, four times the first day and three times the second day. Saliva samples were then taken after 7, 30, 60, 90 and 120 days to evaluate MS oral recolonization. Results: CHX gel containing saccharin was not effective on the reduction of MS levels, while the gel containing aspartame decreased significantly MS levels after treatment (P<.05). Conclusions: Although a new CHX application may be necessary after 60 days to control caries risk and MS levels, CHX treatment should be individually controlled because of variations in the response of subjects.
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