The effects antibiotics have on your teeth

Most people at some point in their life have been prescribed a course of antibiotics to clear up a bacterial infection. Once the course has been completed the infection clears up and you feel better. However, treating infections is becoming increasingly difficult and the effectiveness of antibiotics is reducing, as types of bacteria are becoming more resistant.

What are antibiotics?
Antibiotics are used to kill the microorganisms that cause infections in our bodies (bacteria). They are used when the body’s immune system cannot fight off the infection by itself. Antibiotics do not have ANY effect on viruses like the flu or the common cold.

They were first discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming, since then antibiotics like penicillin for example have been mass produced and effectively clear up bacterial infections all over the world, saving millions of lives, helping to make chemotherapy and many different types of surgeries much safer.

Unfortunately we have now reached a point where antibiotics have been over used and could become ineffective altogether. This is happening because some types of bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics, the bacteria then reproduce and the new bacteria is then resistant to the antibiotics also. The more people use antibiotics when they are not necessarily needed the more ineffective they become.

Think twice before asking for antibiotics:

  • Antibiotics can cause unpleasant and inconvenient side effects such as rashes, diarrhoea, sickness, headaches so only take when absolutely necessary and always under instruction of a licenced medical professional
  • Never share antibiotics with anyone that have been prescribed to you
  • When you have toothache always see your dentist instead of your GP to get the treatment most appropriate for you. Antibiotics cannot cure dental decay which is the most common cause of toothache
  • Keep up with regular dental appointments to help prevent any problems before they arise and always practise good dental care, flossing and regular brushing can help stop oral infections
  • Always finish the entire course of antibiotics when prescribed even of you start to feel better beforehand

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