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Why Antibiotics?

When we have a tooth infection or gum disease, what is the most common palliative treatment that we can receive? Oral Antibiotics right? We accept that antibiotics will kill the infection and in some measure reduce any pain that we are feeling.

But do antibiotics work?

A short answer would be NO. Several studies have shown that the amount of antibiotics reaching the tooth or gums when administered orally is not significant enough to have any effect on the aforementioned infections. The relief from the antibiotics is mostly from the power anti-inflammatory properties of said antibiotics. So it is not the reduction of infection that is helping, rather the reduction in inflammation.

But unbeknownst to practitioners who prescribe antibiotics for all infections as part of their management protocol is that the antibiotics is actually helping in some measure to prevent the spread of infection systemically. Ever notice that a tooth infection can present as tiredness or a fever? These are systemic results of a local infection. The same applies for gum disease. So antibiotics can be used to protect the body while more targeted direct measures are taken to eliminate the dental or gum infection.

This further raises the importance of understanding that most chronic illnesses are either inflammatory in origin or infective in origin. And if there is long term tooth or gum infection, you can bet that the rest of the body becomes at risk.

So the next time you don’t feel the best, talk to a dentist, they may have a solution.