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 planing, 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 long-term use, or as a short-term medication to deter bacteria from re-colonizing.
Tetracycline antibiotics – Antibiotics which include tetracycline, hydrochloride, doxycycline, and minocycline are the primary drugs 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 or chronic periodontitis.
The biggest advantage of the direct delivery of antibiotics to the localized areas is that the whole body is not affected. Localized antibotics and direct delivery methods tend to be preferred over their oral counterparts and are extremely effective when used after scaling and root planing procedures. Here is the most commonly used direct delivery antibiotic:
Arestin® – This Minocycline antibiotic comes in mini capsules which are delivered into periodontal pockets between the gums and teeth.
Noticeable periodontal improvements are usually seen after systemic or oral antibiotic treatment. Your Periodontist will incorporate and recommend the antibiotic treatments as necessary for the healing of your periodontal condition.
If you have any questions about periodontal disease or antibiotic treatments, please ask your periodontist.