Periodontal disease is a progressive condition which leads to severe inflammation and tooth loss if left untreated. Antibiotic treatments can 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 topical gels which are applied directly into the gum pockets. Research has shown that in the case of gum and periodontal abscesses, recurring periodontal disease and aggressive periodontal disease in young patients, antibiotic treatments have been significantly effective.
Antibiotics can be prescribed at a low dose for longer term use, or as a short term medication to deter bacteria from re-colonizing.
Here are some specific details about several different types of oral antibiotics:
Penicillin antibiotics - Group of antibiotics derived from Pencillium fungi including Amoxicillin used in the treatment of bacterial infections caused by susceptible organisms.
Lincosamide antibiotics - Antibiotics including Clindamycin used to treat dental infections of anaerobic bacteria. In patients with an allergy to pencillin, Clindamycin may be used to treat infections, specifically in the bone and joints.
Tetracycline antibiotics – Antibiotics which include tetracycline hydrochloride, doxycycline, and minocycline are the primary drugs used in periodontal treatment. They have antibacterial properties, reduce inflammation and block collagenase (a protein which destroys the connective tissue).
Macrolide antibiotics – This group of antibiotics has proven effective at reducing inflammation, 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.
Here are some of the most commonly used direct delivery antibiotics:
Periodontal improvements can be seen after systemic or oral antibiotic treatment. Your Periodontist or dentist will recommend any necessary antibiotic treatments as necessary for the healing of your periodontal condition.
If you have any questions about periodontal disease or antibiotic treatments, please ask your dentist.