For those of our patients at Peninsula Periodontal Associates who suffer from periodontal (gum) disease, we proudly offer topical or oral antibiotics to help reduce or entirely eliminate disease-causing bacteria. It can also help fight the bacterial infection causing gingivitis, a mild form of periodontal disease that is characterized by reddening, swelling, and bleeding of the gums.
Dr. Pope, Dr. Pickering, and Dr. Lewis may recommend systemic or topical antibiotics in conjuncture with scaling and root planing, as well as other procedures. These antibiotics include:
- Tetracycline: The primary drugs used in the fight against bacteria, tetracycline includes antibacterial properties which help reduce inflammation and block collagenase, a protein which destroys the connective tissue and bone.
- Azithromycin: This antibiotic is known to reduce bacterial growth associated with periodontitis, and is regularly used to reduce inflammation in those patients who are heavy smokers.
- Metronidazole (Flagyl): This antibiotic may be prescribed to those patients suffering from severe periodontitis. Metronidazole works best when used in a combination with amoxicillin or tetracycline.
- Ciprofloxacin: This antibiotic is used to specifically target A. actinomycetemcomitans, a slow-growing but harmful bacterium that contributes to gum disease.
- Amoxicillin: Only intended to fight bacteria and bacterial infections, amoxicillin does not kill bacteria but prevents microbes from forming walls that surround them, which is how bacteria reproduces and survives.
- Clindamycin: An antibiotic that works by stopping the development of bacteria, clindamycin is used to treat a variety of serious bacterial infections.
Most forms of gum disease can be treated without antibiotics, but the biggest advantage of using topical antibiotics to help treat the disease is that they are directed to their specific target areas, thus the entire body is not affected. The other advantages of topical antibiotics include reduced dosage and reduced side effects. Dr. Pope, Dr. Pickering, and Dr. Lewis can discuss with you the advantages, as well as side effects, of each antibiotic during your visit.
To learn more, or to schedule your next visit at Peninsula Periodontal Associates, please give us a call today at our convenient San Mateo, CA office!