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, 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 acute periodontal infection, refractory periodontal disease, prepubertal periodontal disease and juvenile periodontal disease, antibiotic treatments have been incredibly 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.
Oral antibiotics tend to affect the whole body. Here are some specific details about several different types of oral antibiotics:
Tetracycline antibiotics – Antibiotics which include tetracycline are often 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 periodontitis.
Topical Gels and Strips
The biggest advantage of the direct delivery of antibiotics to the surfaces of the gums is that the whole body is not affected. Topical gels and direct delivery methods can be helpful when used after scaling and root planing procedures. Today the most commonly used direct delivery antibiotic is:
Improvements can be seen after systemic or oral antibiotic treatment. Dr. Klonsky will incorporate and recommend antibiotic treatments as necessary for the healing of your periodontal condition.
If you have any questions about periodontal disease or antibiotic treatments, please ask Dr. Klonsky.