As a periodontist, Dr. Lee at Klamath Falls Dental Specialists often treats patients who may need to take antibiotics as part of larger periodontal therapy for their overall health. While in general antibiotics are used to treat infection, they can also be used to prevent infection during periodontal treatment.
Antibiotics as Part of Periodontal Treatment
When filling out our patient forms, you might wonder why we need extensive information regarding your overall health. This information is important because it gives us guidance regarding what kinds of preventative steps to take to guard your health.
Antibiotics can figure into this overall periodontal treatment plan. If patients have specific heart conditions or artificial joints, the use of antibiotics can protect them from more serious health conditions that can develop. Dental surgery and cleanings can be invasive, and the procedures can cause bleeding in the mouth in and along the gumline. This bleeding is what can cause an infection because it allows bacteria to easily get into the blood stream. If and when the bacteria enter into the blood stream, it can affect the heart and artificial joints causing damage and life-threatening infections.
Eliminating Bacteria for Your Protection
We recommend giving antibiotics to our patients before dental surgery because the medication can eliminate the bacteria. Do you have a heart condition or artificial joints? If so, it’s imperative to let us know before any surgery and even regular cleanings. The more you share with your periodontist and other medical professionals, the more they can work together for your overall health and well-being.
For certain heart conditions, antibiotics are recommended about one hour before invasive medical procedures to prevent a condition called infective endocarditis, which is a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection of the inner lining or valve within the heart. In 2007, the American Heart Association changed the guidelines so that only people at highest risk for developing infective endocarditis are now advised to receive prophylactic antibiotics before invasive procedures. However, Dr. Lee and patients work together to decide whether or not antibiotics should be taken in conjunction with periodontal treatment.
Use Antibiotics Wisely
While patients with no heart conditions or artificial joint problems can get procedures without taking antibiotics, it’s important to seek information from your periodontist and primary care doctor before receiving treatment. Patients and their families should ask their primary care doctor or their cardiologist if there is any question at all as to whether they should continue to take preventive antibiotics based on the new guidelines.
For more information regarding periodontal treatment, call Dr. Jenny Lee and her staff at Klamath Falls Dental Specialists at (541) 884-8668 or contact us through this form for your personal appointment.