Dr Anna Lee Blog Post

Using Antibiotics Wisely

Feb 10 • 2 minute read


Antibiotics are effective in curing many bacterial infections. People get sick and the first thing that comes to their mind is taking antibiotics.  Antibiotics kill bacteria and not viruses. So, if you have a common cold, antibiotics would not help.  Toothaches may or may not be caused by bacteria infections.  Talk to your dentist or physician about your symptoms.  Not all dental problems require antibiotics.

What are antibiotics?

·         Antibiotics are medicines that fight infections caused by bacteria. 

·         Antibiotics kill the bacteria or make it difficult for the bacteria to grow and multiply.

Take antibiotics only when neededConsult with your dentist or physician about your symptoms.  Antibiotics only treat certain infections caused by bacteria. Some of the signs and symptoms to watch out for:

·         Fever;

·         Swelling of the tissues in or around your tooth;

·         Swollen glands;

·         Extreme tiredness.

Side effects of antibioticsPeople are allergic to different types of antibiotics and side effects may vary.

·         Diarrhea may last for a day or more.  Severe cases may require care in a hospital and could be deadly, especially for older adults.

·         Rash;

·         Yeast infections;

·         Nausea or vomiting.

Antibiotic resistance happens:

·         When bacteria are no longer killed by the antibiotics;

·         Use antibiotics improperly;

·         Take antibiotics when not needed (take more antibiotics than needed).

Antibiotic prophylaxis is the antibiotics patients take prior to the dental procedures.

·         American Dental Association recommends that antibiotic prophylaxis prior to dental procedures should be reserved for patients at high risk of post-treatment complications.

·         According to the ADA Chairside Guide, for patients who have had their joint replacement surgery and need dental procedures, prophylactic antibiotics should only be considered after consultation with the patient and orthopedic surgeon.

·         Currently, there are relatively few patients who need to take antibiotics prior to the dental procedures. The risk of adverse reactions of taking antibiotics outweighs the benefits.

What to do when you have a toothache? Do you need antibiotics?

 The cause of the toothache may be a loose filling, a chipped tooth, or bacterial infections of the gums. Consult with your dentist to determine the cause of the toothache.  A loose filling or chipped tooth can be restored with a new filling. Sometimes, the dentist recommends over the counter pain medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, to relieve the pain after the tooth is restored. Antibiotics are not needed.  If the toothache is caused by bacterial infections, antibiotics would be necessary.

Dr. Anna Lee is a general and cosmetic dentist in Glendora, CA.  She is experienced in all phases of dentistry.  She treats patients of all ages. If you have any questions about your dental health, call our office for a consultation at 626-335-5114 or visit us at www.annaleedds.com


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