Antibiotic Prophylaxis and Dental Care

Antibiotics are used for the treatment of bacterial infections. There are times when the doctor or dentist suggests taking the medicines prior to treatment to lower the instance of infection. When this occurs, it’s referred to as antibiotic prophylaxis. See below with Cosmetic Dentist Lincoln CA to know why it is done.


Why Antibiotic Prophylaxis?

During specific dental treatments, bacteria from the mouth might enter into the patient’s bloodstream. Most people have healthy enough immune systems to fight these bacteria without concern. Some patients are more susceptible to infection and need some additional protection.

For example, someone with a heart condition might develop infections in the heart. To protect against this, antibiotics should be given prior to treatment. Other diseases such as diabetes, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis weaken the immune system as well. Anyone undergoing chemotherapy would also be asked to participate in antibiotic prophylaxis before dental work.

This treatment isn’t right for everyone. Antibiotics are only needed when the benefits outweigh the risks involved. Antibiotics aren’t free of side effects, so if the chance of infection is low, they aren’t given before treatment. Some people also experience allergic reactions, diarrhea or upset stomachs from antibiotics, so it’s often best to hold off for those people.

There’s also the concern that using too many antibiotics causes bacteria to become resistant. The dentist takes all of these factors into consideration before recommending antibiotic prophylaxis for a patient.


Your Responsibility

Before you have any dental work performed, you need to tell the dentist about your health history and recent developments. It’s also important to discuss your current medications. Then, a better decision will be reached about the best course of action for your needs.

Obviously, taking care of your teeth at home is the best way to avoid needing any dental work done. That’s why you want to brush twice a day, floss once and eat a healthy diet, low in sugar.


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