Antibiotics And Your Dentist—CDC Urges You To Be Antibiotics Aware
North American Precis Syndicate
In 2016, 25.7 million antibiotic prescriptions were prescribed by dentists in the United States. (NAPS)
(NAPSI)—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
encourages the public to Be
Antibiotics Aware by talking
with their dentists about when antibiotics are needed for their oral health.
While antibiotics have a role to play, they should only be used when needed.
Any time antibiotics are used, they can cause side
effects and lead to antibiotic resistance.
Dentists Can Help You Be Antibiotics Aware
Your dentist will tell you if you need antibiotics for an oral infection
or before you have dental work. It is important to take antibiotics exactly
as prescribed. Your dentist can talk to you about when antibiotics are
needed, what they do and do not treat, and why you should not share your
antibiotics or save them for a future illness.
Understanding Antibiotic Resistance
Antibiotic resistance is one of the most urgent threats to the
public’s health. Always remember:
• Antibiotic resistance does not mean the body is becoming resistant
to antibiotics; it means bacteria have developed the ability to defeat the
antibiotics designed to kill them.
• When bacteria become resistant, antibiotics cannot fight them, and
the bacteria multiply.
• Some resistant bacteria can be harder to treat and can spread to
When You Need Antibiotics from a
Antibiotics are needed for treating certain oral infections caused by
bacteria—especially if fever or swelling is present. Antibiotic prophylaxis—when
antibiotics are prescribed as a precaution to prevent infection—is
sometimes used before a patient gets dental work. Before having dental work,
talk to your dentist about any drug allergies or medical conditions that you
Always Take Antibiotics the Right
Your dentist can explain what dose needs to be taken, how long the
antibiotic needs to be taken, at what times it should be taken, and if it
needs to be taken with food and water. If your dentist prescribes an
antibiotic, ask if it is the recommended antibiotic for your condition.
When Antibiotics Aren’t
Antibiotics do not work for oral infections caused by a virus, cold sores
or fungal infections. They will also not cure a toothache. Your dentist must
examine your mouth and determine what is causing the pain. Your dentist will
decide if antibiotics are appropriate for your dental problem.
Possible Side Effects of
Antibiotics save lives. When you need antibiotics, the benefits usually
outweigh the risks of side effects or antibiotic resistance.
When antibiotics aren’t
needed, they won’t help you and the side effects could still hurt you.
Talk with your dentist if you develop any side effects, especially
diarrhea, since that could be Clostridioides (formerly
called Clostridium) difficile
infection (also called C. difficile or C. diff), which needs to be treated
immediately. C. difficile
can lead to severe colon damage and death.
Reactions from antibiotics cause one out of six medication-related visits
to the emergency department.
Other side effects from antibiotics can include:
• Yeast infections
• Life-threatening allergic reactions
Keep Your Mouth Healthy
You can keep your mouth healthy by:
• Brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing
• Visiting your dentist regularly, even if you have no natural teeth
or have dentures
• Limiting alcoholic drinks
• Drinking fluoridated water, especially if you have dry mouth
• Not using any tobacco products or quitting smoking if you currently
• Managing chronic conditions
Improving the way dentists prescribe antibiotics, and the way we take
antibiotics, helps keep us healthy now, helps fight antibiotic resistance,
and ensures that these lifesaving drugs will be available for future generations.
Learn more about antibiotic prescribing and use at www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages the public to Be Antibiotics Aware by talking
with their dentists about when antibiotics are needed for their oral health. http://bit.ly/2N3JRqg”
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)