Dental treatment and oral surgery can involve sharp tools and manipulation of gum tissue that introduce bacteria to the bloodstream. Oral bacteria can potentially trigger infections in other parts of the body.
For years, many dental patients were prescribed antibiotics to take prior to treatment to prevent bacteria from thriving in the bloodstream.
Nowadays, bigger issues include the threat of antibiotic resistance and a bad reaction to antibiotics. When should a prophylactic antibiotic be prescribed and to whom?
Here are the latest guidelines per ADA (American Dental Association) and AHA (American Heart Association) collaboration:
Who Needs An Antibiotic Before Dental Treatment?
It’s not routinely recommended for those with joint replacements unless there is a history of previous infection.
There’s a more serious risk when the heart could develop an infection.
Specific heart conditions that warrant the use of a prophylactic antibiotic include:
When To Take A Prophylactic Antibiotic
Your doctor or dentist will give you directions to take the medication well before dental treatment or surgery. But new guidelines show that it’s still effective to take it up to two hours post-treatment.
Already taking an antibiotic? Your dentist will prescribe you a different kind.
Keep In Mind
Dental treatment and oral surgery are not the only times you risk getting bacteria in your bloodstream. That can happen during many other daily activities such as brushing your teeth. What you can do is keep your mouth as healthy as possible to limit open sores, delicate gum tissues, and populations of bad bacteria.
Consult with your doctor and local dentist to make sure everyone is on the same page about the latest in prophylactic antibiotic guidelines.
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