|Generic Name||Brand Name|
|chlorhexidine gluconate||Peridex, Periogard|
|triclosan||Colgate Total toothpaste|
|Generic Name||Brand Name|
How It Works
Dentists prescribe antibiotics in different forms to treat gum disease. They can be applied directly on the gums (topical), swallowed as pills or capsules, swished around on your teeth as mouthwash, or inserted into the pockets of advanced gum disease. Some medicated toothpastes contain an antibacterial ingredient that reduces plaque and gingivitis when used regularly. Ask your dentist if this type of product would help you.
Why It Is Used
- To reduce bacteria in your mouth, antibiotic mouthwash may be prescribed for use after brushing and flossing.
- Topical antibiotics may be prescribed to treat early-stage gum disease (gingivitis) that cannot be slowed by improved brushing and flossing habits.
- Topical antibiotics may be prescribed to treat mild forms of advanced gum disease (periodontitis).
- Sustained-release antibiotics may be inserted into the gum pocket for periodontitis.
- Antibiotic pills or capsules may be prescribed to treat moderate to severe periodontitis.
How Well It Works
If antibiotic treatment is combined with proper brushing and flossing habits, gum disease can sometimes be stopped. Then gums can become pink and healthy again.
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
- Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
- Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
- If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Call your doctor if you have:
Common side effects of this medicine include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
Antibiotics cannot always kill bacteria (antibiotic resistance), in part because they are used too much or are used incorrectly. You can help prevent antibiotic resistance by taking all of your medicine as directed, even if you feel better after a few days. If you stop taking your medicine too soon, bacteria that are not killed in the first few days of treatment can grow stronger and become resistant to the antibiotic.
Advice for women
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerSteven K. Patterson, BS, DDS, MPH - Dentistry
Current as ofNovember 14, 2014