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Antibiotics in the Treatment of Periodontitis

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Philip Preshaw


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The emerging worldwide problem of bacterial resistance has resulted from overuse and misuse of systemic antibiotics. It is appropriate therefore to review periodontal treatment strategies to determine whether systemic antibiotics have a role to play in the management of periodontitis. For the great majority of patients presenting with periodontal conditions, systemic antibiotics are not indicated. Instead, treatment should focus on mechanical disruption of plaque biofilms, plaque control and risk factor modification. Systemic antibiotics may be indicated in severe spreading infections, some aggressive forms of periodontitis, and necrotizing periodontal conditions. These conditions present infrequently in general practice, most will require referral to a periodontal specialist and the decision to use systemic antimicrobials as part of periodontal management is more appropriately taken within a specialist centre. Systemic antibiotics are not indicated in the vast majority of periodontal conditions encountered in general dental practice.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Preshaw PM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Dental Update

Year: 2004

Volume: 31

Issue: 8

Pages: 448-456

Print publication date: 01/10/2004

ISSN (print): 0305-5000

ISSN (electronic): 1011-5986

Publisher: George Warman Publications Ltd


Notes: English 0305-5000 Journal Article