Can antibiotics help cure gum disease?

Dra. Libertad Caro
Specialist in Periodontology and Dental Implantology

Many of us have suffered at one time or another from gum problems, like pain, bleeding and swelling. There are symptoms that tell us we could be suffering from an gum disease, and they tend to be related to diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis.

The first reaction when dealing with a gum disease is to resort to home remedies like rinses with salt and/or hydrogen peroxide. However, these remedies do not eliminate the bacteria.

People also go to the pharmacy to get medicine that offers pain relief. Pharmacists usually recommend antiseptic mouthwash that, even if it eliminates bacteria, tends to not get rid of bacteria inside the gums, which is the cause of the infection.

So, how can you cure gum disease and treat periodontitis properly? Are antibiotics recommended?

For treating periodontitis or gingivitis you need to go to a dental clinic specialised in this type of condition. Proper treatment for gum disease means eliminating the bacteria in the gums, including plaque, and this can only be done by full mouth disinfection or cleaning by dentists specialised in gums who are also called periodontists.

Gum disease like periodontitis or gingivitis can be treated with antibiotics, although they are not recommended as the sole treatment. The reason is that despite eliminating part of the bacteria, they are not able to eliminate of all of it, which means there is always a bit left over that can “reactivate” the infection.

In the large majority of cases, the infection can be controlled by full mouth disinfection, without antibiotics being needed. As you know the indiscriminate and over-prescribing of antibiotics can cause resistance to bacteria that increases the strength of the bacteria which causes infectious diseases. Therefore, antibiotics should only be used when completely necessary, and full mouth disinfection is not enough.

Do you think you might be suffering from some one the symptoms we mentioned? Remember that the first appointment at our clinic is free. Come, tell us what the issue is and we will let you know about the best options for dealing with your particular issue.

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