Can Antibiotics Cure Gum Disease?

Many people turn to home remedies or over-the-counter products for relief when it comes to gum disease. However, these options often fail to eliminate the bacteria responsible for the infection. So what’s the best approach to curing gum disease and treating periodontitis? And can antibiotics help cure gum disease? At Southhill Comprehensive Dentistry, we’re going to explore this topic in-depth.

Can Antibiotics Cure Gum Disease Completely?

To properly address periodontitis or gingivitis, seeking treatment from a specialized dental clinic focusing on gum conditions is important. These specialists, called periodontists, tend to focus on advanced stages of gum disease that have infected beyond the gums and into the tooth roots and jawline, often where massive exposures of decay and infection form. While most dentists can care for minor cases of gingivitis and periodontitis, periodontists are specialists in gum health. 

So, what can a periodontist do to help cure gum disease? Many periodontists can provide scaling and root planing treatments or deep dental cleanings to remove the bacteria and help prevent it from developing further damage. In some cases, however, your periodontist will provide antibiotics to treat your gum disease, even though they’re not typically recommended as the sole treatment method. 

That is because antibiotics present inherent problems that don’t help the patient completely. These problems include: 

  • Increased Bacterial Resistance: The body can gradually tolerate almost any substance over time when exposed to it. With antibiotics, our bodies can become less affected by the effects of the prescription, thereby worsening the severity of the infection. 
  • Poor Bacteria-Killing Capabilities: Depending on the bacteria strains present in the mouth, not all antibiotics will be able to provide you with the ability to relieve your infection. Antibiotics affect the entire body; they won’t fully remove every strain of bacteria in the mouth and can also kill helpful bacteria in your immune system.
  • Topical vs. Oral: Oral antibiotics tend to affect the body completely when they’re injected and are less commonly prescribed. Topical antibiotics target the infected gum tissue without affecting the entire body and are used with deep cleaning procedures such as root planing and scaling. Topical antibiotics are available in gel, chip, and strip forms. Some notable options include Atridox®, PerioChip®, Actisite®, Elyzol®, and Arestin®. These treatments gradually release antibiotics or antiseptic agents, combating infection and reducing pocket depth in periodontal disease cases.

Although antibiotics can eliminate some bacteria, some residual bacteria are left behind that can trigger a reactivation of the infection. Because of this reason, full mouth cleanings combined with antibiotics are often the most effective means of treating it. 

Visit Southhill Comprehensive Dentistry Today For an Appointment!

If you suspect you are experiencing symptoms related to gum disease, it is advisable to seek professional dental care. At Southhill Comprehensive Dentistry, in Spokane, WA, you can discuss your concerns with Dr. Ulysses Vargas and explore the best treatment options for your specific condition. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing personalized care and guiding you toward optimal oral well-being. Contact us today at (509) 747-8779 to prioritize your dental health and regain a confident, pain-free smile.

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