Antibiotics are effective against a wide spectrum of microbes but many have developed resistance to antibiotics, causing an escalating global health problem. Antibiotics prescribed by dental and medical professionals are contributing to this global burden of antimicrobial resistance.
The oral cavity is colonized by a diverse range of microbial flora that comprise more than 700 species of bacteria, fungi and protozoa. Without knowing the specific bacteria causing the infection, there's only a one in 10 chance of selecting effective antibiotics. Proper identification of pathogens and appropriate selection of antibiotics can dramatically improve treatment outcomes. Doing so also supports antimicrobial stewardship. This requires:
• conducting a microbial analysis to determine whether an antibiotic regimen is indicated;
• prescribing the appropriate antibiotic for the individual/disease; and
• prescribing a rinse, which is not ingested, rather than pills, in order to decrease the risk of microbial resistance.