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Periodontal disease is a progressive condition which leads to severe inflammation and tooth loss if left untreated. Antibiotic treatments may be used in combination with scaling and root planning, curettage, surgery or as a stand-alone treatment to help reduce bacteria before and/or after many common periodontal procedures.
Antibiotic treatments come in several different types, including oral forms and local delivery which is applied directly into the gum pockets. Research has shown that in some cases of periodontal infection, antibiotic treatment can be an effective adjunct to traditional mechanical removal of local irritants. It should be noted that antibacterial treatment alone is not effective at treating most periodontal conditions.
Oral antibiotics tend to affect the whole body and may be prescribed in combination with other antibiotics. Here are some specific details about several different types of oral antibiotics:
Tetracycline antibiotics – Antibiotics which include tetracycline hydrochloride, doxycycline, and minocycline are common drugs used in periodontal treatment. They have antibacterial properties, reduce inflammation and block collagenase (a protein which destroys the connective tissue).
Azithromycin – This group of antibiotics has proven effective at reducing inflammation in heavy smokers, and can also reduce bacterial growth associated with periodontitis.
Metronidazole – This antibiotic is generally used in combination with amoxicillin or tetracycline to combat inflammation and bacterial growth in severe or chronic periodontitis.
The biggest advantage of the direct delivery of antibiotics to the surfaces of the gums is that the whole body is not affected. Direct delivery methods tend to be preferred by many general dentists and hygeinests over their oral counterparts and can be effective when used in areas with poor response to traditional mechanical debridement.
Your Periodontist or dentist will incorporate and recommend the necessary antibiotic treatments as necessary for the healing of your periodontal condition.
If you have any questions about periodontal disease or antibiotic treatments, please give us a call.