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Periodontal Disease
Antibiotic Treatment

Periodontal disease is a progressive condition which leads to severe inflammation and tooth loss if left untreated.  Antibiotic treatments can be used in combination with scaling and root planning, curettage, surgery or as a stand-alone treatment to help reduce bacteria before and/or after many common periodontal procedures.

Antibiotic treatments come in several different types, including oral forms and topical gels which are applied directly into the gum pockets.  Research has shown that in the case of acute periodontal infection, refractory periodontal disease, prepubertal periodontal disease and juvenile periodontal disease, antibiotic treatments have been incredibly effective.

Antibiotics can be prescribed at a low dose for longer term use, or as a short term medication to deter bacteria from re-colonizing.

Oral Antibiotics

Oral antibiotics tend to affect the whole body and are less commonly prescribed than topical antibiotics.  Tetracycline antibiotics – Antibiotics which include tetracycline hydrochloride, doxycycline, and minocycline are the primary drugs used in periodontal treatment.  They have antibacterial properties, reduce inflammation and block collagenase (a protein which destroys the connective tissue).  There are several others that are sometimes used also. 


Topical Antibiotics

The biggest advantage of the direct delivery of antibiotics to the surfaces of the gums is that the whole body is not affected.  Topical methods tend to be preferred over their oral counterparts and are extremely effective when used after scaling and root planing procedures.   One of the commonest is:

  • Arestin® – This Minocycline antibiotic comes in mini capsules (microspheres) which are delivered into the gums after scaling and root planning.

Noticeable periodontal improvements are usually seen after antibiotic treatment.  Your periodontist or dentist will incorporate and recommend any antibiotic treatments necessary for your periodontal condition.

If you have any questions about periodontal disease or antibiotic treatments, please ask your dentist.