July 18, 2013

Tooth Infections and Antibiotic Myths #1-4

Myth #1:  Antibiotics cure patients:  Antibiotics function to assist the re-establishment of the proper balance between a person's immune and inflammatory defenses and the invasive agent.  Antibiotics do not cure patients; patients cure themselves.  

Myth #2:  Antibiotics are substitutes for surgical intervention:  The cause of the infection must be removed (with or without antibiotic therapy) when the cause is identifiable.  Whenever antibiotic therapy is used the risk of bacterial selection for antibiotic resistance is present.  

Myth #3:  The most important decision is which antibiotic to use:  Since up to 60% of human infections resolve by host defenses alone following removal of the cause of the infection without antibiotic intervention, the most important initial decision is not which antibiotic to prescribe but whether to use one at all.  

Myth #4:  Antibiotics increase one's defense to infection:  The greatest harm to one's defenses are those that penetrate cells and the least harm is observed with bacteriocidal, non-penetrating agents such as penicillin and cephalosporin.  

See Myths #5-8

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | www.drtupac.com 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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