Last week was the first-ever World Antibiotic Awareness Week.
Medical fraternities all over the world are battling the constant emergence of new strains of bacteria, resistant to available antibiotics. Unfortunately, we seem to be losing the battle. We can all help manage the problem through responsible use of antibiotics only when absolutely necessary.
Here is some useful information for the next time you see the dentist in an emergency and are deciding whether to fill that script or not.
Will antibiotics work for your infected tooth?
Antibiotics don’t actually work very well in dental infections, except in very serious conditions where infection spreads further than the tooth site. In most cases, bacteria which are sources of dental infections are enclosed inside the tooth, with minimal to no blood flow. Antibiotics cannot reach them. Until the source of infection inside of the tooth is removed (either by disinfecting the tooth, such as root canal therapy or by removing the whole tooth), the infection will continue regardless of antibiotic treatment.
It is important to remember this if you are ever in a situation where you may be suffering from a toothache or looking for emergency dental care. Wherever possible, allow your dentist to commence root canal treatment in order to remove the bacteria. This will reduce the pain, temporarily disinfect the tooth and allow you to take some time to make your final decision regarding your treatment options.
Ultimately, prevention is always better than cure, so see your dentist and hygienist regularly to avoid complex treatment.
Together, we can all contribute to ensure we reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics in dentistry.
Visit this link to see more about the World Antibiotic Awareness Week: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/events/2015/world-antibiotic-awareness-week/en/
You can book an appointment with your nearest National Dental Care practitioner online here.