Dentists sometimes prescribe antibiotics that are applied locally to treat certain types of infection in the mouth. The following are six things you should know if you've been prescribed a locally applied antibiotic for a dental issue.
Locally applied antibiotics are often prescribed to fight periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria flourish on the teeth and gums and create an infection. Periodontal disease starts as gingivitis that leads to inflammation and a worsening infection. Locally applied antibiotics are used in dental medicine to treat gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Neglecting to treat periodontal disease with antibiotics can lead to worsening dental problems and even cause irreparable damage from issues like gum recession.
Locally applied antibiotics may be used in combination with scaling and root planing.
If a patient has severe periodontal disease, a dentist might recommend scaling and root planing in addition to antibiotic treatment. Scaling involves removing all plaque and tartar below the gumline. After scaling, root planing is typically necessary so that the gum can attach back against the tooth properly.
Locally applied antibiotic treatments typically come in the form of gels or powders.
There are numerous forms in which antibiotic dental treatments can come. These treatments are most often offered in the form of a gel. However, they can also be administered in a powder or strip form.
Local antibiotics can be more effective than oral antibiotics when it comes to dental infections.
Generally, local antibiotics are applied directly to the area of the mouth that is infected and inflamed. Conversely, oral antibiotics do not get the antibiotic directly onto the infection. This factor makes it so that local antibiotics are typically significantly more effective at killing the bacteria that cause periodontal disease than oral antibiotics are.
Local antibiotics involve few recognized side effects.
Oral antibiotics are sometimes associated with various side effects such as nausea and other digestive troubles. With local antibiotics, however, less antibiotic medication needs to be consumed by the patient and the antibiotic does not need to be swallowed. This means that digestive troubles and other side effects are very rare when it comes to locally applied antibiotics used in dental medicine.
Local antibiotics make reinfection less likely.
Patients who have suffered from periodontal disease in the past are sometimes susceptible to developing reinfection. If a course of locally applied antibiotics is administered, reinfection is less likely. Locally applied antibiotics can, in many cases, restore the health of the gums so that no new infections occur.
For more information, contact a service like P3 Dental Technologies.