Holistic Dentist in Southlake Discusses Antibiotic Overuse
July 22, 2017
Antibiotic overuse is a significant problem in our country, with an estimated 2 million antibiotic-resistant illnesses and 23,000 deaths occurring each year in the United States, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As your holistic dentist in Southlake, Dr. Preetha Thomas knows that dentistry plays a big role in the overuse of antibiotics. In fact, the same report shows that around 10% of all antibiotics prescribed annually come from dentists. There are guidelines in place for when and how to prescribe antibiotics, but unfortunately, they are often poorly understood.
Visiting a dentist who takes care with antibiotic use — like Dr. Thomas — is vital for everyone’s health and wellbeing.
Why Is Antibiotic Overuse an Issue?
For too long, we have been treating antibiotics as a magic bullet for treating any number of illnesses. It is tempting to treat everything from gum disease to an aching tooth with an oral pill — but unfortunately, disease-causing bacteria are getting more and more resistant to these antibiotics every year. As a result, more people are becoming seriously ill (or even dying) due to antibiotic-resistant illnesses.
In addition to making our bodies less resistant to bad bacteria, antibiotics also wipe out all the good bacteria that is naturally present in our bodies. People who frequently turn to antibiotics are more likely to experience diarrhea and other stomach issues.
The issue of antibiotic overuse is so significant that the Centers for Disease for Control calls it “one of the world’s most pressing public health problems.” Dentists have a significant duty to reevaluate the use of antibiotics — and Dr. Thomas is on it.
How Enclave Dental Fights Antibiotic Overuse
While many dentists integrate antibiotic treatment with treatment for dental and periodontal infections, the indications for this type of treatment should be limited. Most oral diseases are best managed with operative intervention and improved hygiene. For example, to treat chronic gum disease and prevent reinfection, we may put together a treatment plan that involves scaling and root planing (or a deep cleaning above and below the gum line) as well as thorough patient education to help you understand how you can better care for your teeth at home.
Another example is with an infected tooth, or when there has been damage to the nerve. Covering up the symptoms, like an aching, throbbing tooth, with an antibiotic doesn’t do anything to actually help the problem — and it’s precisely what leads to antibiotic overuse. In these instances, our team will not hesitate to extract if that’s the best mode of action for actually solving the issue.
When Are Antibiotics Appropriate?
Of course, antibiotics are still an invaluable tool when used correctly. If you or your loved one have an issue that truly requires the use of antibiotic, we will carefully evaluate the situation and provide specific instructions to ensure we provide safe and effective use of antibiotic treatment. If you do take oral antibiotics, it’s important that you complete the full cycle — that’s the only way the treatment will work. Please ask us any questions you have about antibiotics. Your health is on the line!
Trust Your Southlake Dentist for Holistic Care!
While you are looking for a dentist to care for your and your loved ones’ smiles, choose a team that has your long-term health and wellbeing in mind. At Enclave Dental, we are committed to providing holistic dentistry. Request an appointment with our caring team today!
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