Autoimmune Disease Management 101: Fighting Back

Understanding Locally Applied Dental Antibiotics

Most people know that antibiotics are drugs used to treat infections. However, most people are not familiar with antibiotic treatments for oral infections. As dental antibiotic technology has improved, it has made treatment options easy and effective. Locally applied antibiotics have quickly gained popularity in dentistry. This article will help you understand the basics of dental locally applied antibiotics.

Uses of Locally Applied Antibiotics

Local antibiotics can be used for many types of infections. They kill the infection-causing bacteria and prevent future reproduction of bacteria.

Treating infections from dental procedures or trauma to the mouth are some of the great uses of antibiotics. By far the most common use of local antibiotics is for periodontitis/periodontal disease. More commonly called gum disease.

Application Types of Locally Applied Antibiotics

Locally applied dental antibiotics are used in conjunction with scaling (removing the plaque and tartar from the teeth) and root planing (removing the plaque and tartar that are underneath the gum line). Sometimes they are also used with corticosteroids to treat inflammation.

Antibiotic Mouthwash

An antibiotic mouthwash is one form of local antibiotic. It can be prescribed by your dentist and is stronger than over-the-counter mouthwashes.

Antibiotic Fibers

With this type of treatment, fibers or strings, are soaked in antibiotics and then placed in pockets under the gums. This application will be done in a dentist's office with a local anesthetic. The fibers will remain for about 10 days, slowly releasing the antibiotic into the gums. Once your treatment cycle is over, you will have another appointment to remove the fibers. Then inflammation will decrease and the pocket where the antibiotic fibers were will shrink.

Antibiotic Capsules and Wafers

Capsules and wafers are a time-release type of treatment. They are placed under the gums and slowly dissolve over about a week, releasing the antibiotic into the gums. This type of placement procedure will take place at your dentist's office and does not require an anesthetic. The capsules are biodegradable and absorb into the gums, meaning they will not need to be removed after treatment, and the wafers dissolve completely.

Antibiotic Gels

Antibiotic gels are injected into pockets in the gums. Upon contact with blood and other fluid, they thicken into a wax-like consistency. Your dentist may seal your gums to prevent the drug from escaping. The hardened gel will slowly release the antibiotics over several days and be absorbed into the gums and require no need for a removal appointment.

Sometimes patients are told not to brush or floss the affected area during treatment and may be given a mouthwash to help clean the teeth. 

Benefits of Locally Applied Antibiotics

There are several benefits of locally applied dental antibiotics. The local application means that they are bypassing the gastrointestinal system that oral antibiotics use and are going straight to the affected area. Aside from being completely targeted, the prolonged release and ability to be highly concentrated also make them more effective.

Locally applied antibiotics are a great way to combat oral infections. Contact a medical company like P3 Dental Technologies for more information.