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Toothache and antibiotics

New ADA Guideline Advises Against Using Antibiotics To Manage Most Dental Pain, Swelling

The ADA News reported a new ADA guideline indicates that “antibiotics are not needed to manage most dental pain and intraoral swelling associated with pulpal and periapical infections.” The guideline, published in the November issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association, “advises against using antibiotics for most pulpal and periapical conditions and instead recommends only the use of dental treatment and, if needed, over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.” The article added that “if a patient’s condition progresses to showing signs or symptoms of systemic involvement, such as fever or malaise, then dentists should prescribe antibiotics, the guideline advises.” The article noted, “The ADA’s guideline is part of larger efforts across the globe to prevent antibiotics from becoming ineffective in treating bacterial infections.”

HealthDay reported that Dr. Peter Lockhart, chair of the panel that developed the guideline, said, “Antibiotics are, of course, tremendously important medications,” but “it’s vital that we use them wisely so that they continue to be effective when absolutely needed.”

        Separately, the Washington Times reported that drug-resistant bacteria “infect millions and kill thousands in the U.S. each year, posing a major threat to the future of health care and treatment options, health officials say.” The article said that “the overuse and misuse of antibiotics have contributed to the evolution of drug-resistant bacteria and ‘superbugs,’ bacterial strains resistant to several types of antibiotics.”



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