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New Clinical Trial Results Show Germ-Killing Action of LISTERINE® Antiseptic Kills Germs in the Mouth Before They Travel To the Bloodstream


Findings to be Presented at Symposium at ADA Annual Meeting

Morris Plains, NJ — The results of a new clinical study demonstrate that the plaque and gingivitis germ-killing action of LISTERINE® Antiseptic significantly reduces the amount of germs that travel from the mouth to the bloodstream in people with mild to moderate gingivitis. These findings are significant, as emerging science suggests that gingivitis, if left untreated and allowed to progress to advanced gum disesase, could contribute to broader health problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and pneumonia.

The randomized, controlled, crossover study conducted at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey found that participants using LISTERINE® Antiseptic as directed experienced a reduction in aerobic and anaerobic bacteria in the blood stream (67.3% and 70.3%, respectively). Anaerobic bacteria are the type most associated with gum disease.1 The results will be presented during a symposium at the American Dental Association Annual Session in Hawaii.

“The findings from this study serve as compelling evidence to further the theory that plaque and gingivitis germs that migrate from the mouth to the bloodstream may contribute to broader health problems such as diabetes and heart disease,” said Daniel H. Fine, DMD, chair of the Department of Oral Biology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and lead investigator of the study. “While additional research in this area is necessary, this study undoubtedly proves that LISTERINE® Antiseptic kills the germs in your mouth that cause plaque and gingivitis before they have a chance to travel to the bloodstream.”

More than 50 clinical studies support the safety and efficacy of LISTERINE® Antiseptic. The formula is clinically proven to kill germs that cause plaque, gingivitis and bad breath. In fact, no other over-the-counter mouthwash has been proven in lab studies to penetrate the plaque biofilm—the layer of bacteria that can collect on surfaces in the mouth—deeper than LISTERINE® Antiseptic.

“As the mouthwash category leader, we are committed to advancing the body of science demonstrating our products’ benefits,” said Marcelo Araujo, D.D.S., Ph.D., Associate Director, Scientific & Professional Affairs, Johnson & Johnson Consumer & Personal Products Worldwide, Division of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. “The study presented at ADA will be the first in a new generation of research evaluating whether a regular oral hygiene regimen with our products can have a positive effect on whole body health.”

As a way to illustrate recent scientific developments in the connection between oral and systemic health in people with advanced gum disease, the makers of LISTERINE® Antiseptic have developed an educational video, available at, for consumers and dental professionals.

About the Study1
The study presented today involved 22 subjects with a confirmed diagnosis of mild to moderate gingivitis. Blood was drawn from each patient to establish baseline bacteremia levels. Then, subjects took three bites of an apple to induce bacteremia. Blood was drawn again approximately two minutes after the first bite was taken to determine the bacteremia level. Subjects were provided with an assigned mouth rinse (control or LISTERINE® Antiseptic), as well as a toothbrush, commercial fluoride toothpaste, and a diary to keep a detailed record of their rinsing and brushing. Patients were instructed to rinse with 20 mL of their assigned mouth rinse for 30 seconds, twice daily for two weeks. On Day 15, subjects returned to the clinic and had a new sample taken to determine the level of bacteremia in their blood after treatment. Following a wash-out period, the study protocol was repeated with participants using the alternate mouth rinse.

About LISTERINE® Antiseptic
No other mouthwash for everyday use has been proven more effective against plaque biofilm than LISTERINE® Antiseptic. LISTERINE® Antiseptic is the No. 1 dentist-recommended brand of over-the-counter mouthrinse and the only nationally branded over-the-counter mouthrinse that has earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance for preventing and reducing plaque and gingivitis. More than 50 clinical studies have examined its safety and efficacy, and it has been used safely by over one billion people for more than 100 years. First offered for sale in 1879, first marketed for oral hygiene in 1895, and made today by Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc., LISTERINE® Antiseptic contains a fixed combination of four essential oils and is clinically proven to kill germs that cause plaque, gingivitis and bad breath. To learn more about LISTERINE® Antiseptic and to further explore the mouth-body connection, visit

Emerging science suggests an association between periodontitis (advanced gum disease) and broader health problems, but a cause and effect relationship has not been established. LISTERINE® Antiseptic is indicated to help prevent or reduce plaque and gingivitis. It is not indicated for periodontitis or other diseases.

Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc.
Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc. is a leader in the consumer oral health and whitening market with LISTERINE® Antiseptic Mouthwash, LISTERINE® TOTAL CARE Anticavity Mouthwash, LISTERINE® WHITENING® Quick Dissolving Strips, LISTERINE® WHITENING® Pre-Brush Rinse, LISTERINE® WHITENING® VIBRANT WHITE™ Pre-Brush Rinse, LISTERINE® WHITENING® Pen, LISTERINE® SMART RINSE™, LISTERINE® AGENT COOL BLUE®, REACH® toothbrushes, REACH® floss, and REMBRANDT® tooth whitening products.

This study was funded by Johnson & Johnson Consumer & Personal Products Worldwide, Division of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.


1.Daniel Fine, David Furgang, Marie McKiernan, Roberto Labella, Danette Nittel-Ricci, Paul Zhang, Marcelo W. B. Araujo. Investigation of the effect of Essential-Oils mouthrinse on induced bacteremia. J Dent Res 88 (Spec Iss B) abstract #0010; BSDR 2009


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