Can Overuse of Antibiotics Be Bad for Teeth and Gums?

For some time the medical field has known that overuse of antibiotics is not a healthy practice. Certain strains of bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. The resistance causes the antibiotics to no longer be effective.

It is better to reserve the use of antibiotics for serious illnesses and life-threatening situations. Only bacterial infections require antibiotics. However, sometimes doctors prescribe them for viruses.

Why Can Overuse of Antibiotics Be Detrimental for Your Health?

A team of researchers at Case Western Reserve University discovered that bodies have “good” bacteria that naturally reduce infection and inflammation. However, antibiotics kill these “good” bacteria. In fact, in some cases antibiotics are more detrimental than helpful.

According to a Science Daily article, until recently, there was no scientific research to back up whether this was also true for oral health.

Research Details

Research in a laboratory setting revealed that natural defenses, white blood cells like Tregs and Th-17 cells were very effective in fighting fungal infections such as Candida. However, antibiotics prevented these natural defenses from working.

Researchers also discovered that many infections resolve on their own when the “good” bacteria are left alone.

CDC and the CARB Program

The CDC reported that one in three antibiotic prescriptions were unnecessary in outpatient settings, which included doctors’ offices and emergency departments. Practitioners often prescribed antibiotics for respiratory conditions caused by viruses, such as common colds, bronchitis, viral sore throats, ear infections and sinus infections. Viral infections do not respond to antibiotic treatment.

The White House’s goal of Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB) is to reduce inappropriate outpatient antibiotic use by 2020. They want to reduce it to half of what it was in 2015.

Meeting this goal requires awareness from outpatient healthcare providers, health care systems and patients.

We Are Glad to Answer Your Questions About Dental Care

If you’re wondering about dental care for you or your child, feel free to ask our dentists at Hutto Hippo Family Dental.

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