Home / Dental Health / Dental Antibiotics

Dental Antibiotics

Dental Antibiotics – An antibiotic is defined as a chemical substance derived from naturally occurring substances such as fungi, mushrooms, and soil bacteria which has the ability to destroy, inhibit, or slow the growth of bacteria, parasites, or fungi in the treatment of infectious diseases. Penicillin and erythromycin are the example of antibiotics that are useful against many bacteria. However, Dental Antibiotics are not useful against viruses.

COMMONLY USED Dental Antibiotics

Penicillins are a group of antibiotics that are derived from molds. A number of varieties of Penidilhins are available, differing in absorption rate and antibacterial coverage. Penicillins are most effective dental antibiotics against gram positive bacteria. Two examples are Penicillin G and Peniciffin V. Extended spectrum penicillins cover more and different strains of bacteria. These include amoxicilhin and ampicilhin. Altogether, this class of antibiotics is useful, efficacious, and inexpensive. Amoxicillin is primarily used for dental prophylaxis.


Erythromycin is part of the dental antibiotics class of macrolides, Its activity is similar to penicillin, proving beneficial in fighting gram-positive bacteria. It is mostly used in patients who have a drug allergy to penicillin. It must be taken on an empty stomach since food may interfere with its absorption.


Clindamycin is a class of antibiotic chemically unrelated to the penicillin family or erythromycin family. Its activity is similar to penicillin, proving beneficial in fighting gram-positive bacteria. It is the drug of choice for dental antibiotics prophylaxis when patients cannot take amoxicilhin or erythromycin.


Cephalosporins are chemically similar to penicillin. There are three classes within this group of dental antibiotics. The first class has good activity against gram-negative bacteria; it includes cephalexin and cefadroxil. The second class has some activity against both gram-negative bacteria and gram-positive bacteria. Examples are cefaclor and cefoxitin. The third class is most effective against gram-negative bacteria and includes cefotaxime and ceftriaxone. Cephalosponns have been used to treat oral infections when penicillins are contraindicated.


This class of dental antibiotics is generally effective against gram- positive and gram-negative bacteria, making it a broad-spectrum antibiotic. This drug must not be taken with milk, antacids, or iron tablets because it may combine with them and become useless against infection. Tetracyclines are used in treatment of certain periodontal diseases.


A prophylactic is an agent which is used to prevent disease. Patients with certain illnesses require antibiotics prior to any dental procedure because they are at an increased risk for infection. This is primarily indicated in dental procedures where some bleeding may occur.

The conditions which most commonly require dental prophylaxis are related to the heart, including artificial heart valves, a history of endocarditis (infection and inflammation of the inner lining of the heart), and mitral valve prolapse (an abnormally functioning valve of the heart).

They may also be used in patients who have artificial joints. The three antibiotics most widely used for prophylaxis are amoxicillin (which is penicillin), erythromycin, and clindamycin. It’s given in two doses, one dose one or two hours before the procedure and another dose (one-half the first dose) six hours after the initial dose.

Patient Sensitivity to Dental Antibiotics

While prescribing the medicines to any individual patient it must be kept into consideration that he or she may be sensitive to a drug and some sort of side effects may occur after taking Dental Antibiotics. These side effects may be unpredictable and potentially severe.

Therefore, it is important to ask the patient if he or she has had any adverse reactions from taking any prescription or over-the-counter drugs in the past, especially ones which might be used during a dental procedure. Many drugs, especially dental antibiotics, can produce an allergic reaction in the patient, causing rash, facial swelling, fever, itching, and— in severe cases—shortness of breath.

The most extreme patient allergic reaction which can be life threatening is anaphylaxis. Allergic symptoms are due to the formation and deposition of an antibody-antigen complex and the release of the chemical histamine from the body’s cells.


Fungi can be found in air, water, food, and in the body. Occasionally different forms of fungi can proliferate and produce a gross infection in the mouth, on the skin, in the nails, in the intestines, or in the vaginal area. A fungus infection most commonly occurs in pregnant patients or patients with diabetes or immunodeficiency diseases.

Dental Antibiotics are not useful against fungal infections. Therefore, antifungals were developed as a treatment. Dental Antibiotics are administered orally, intravenously, and topically. Examples of antifungals include ketoconazole, griseofulvin, nystatin, and amphotericin B. Nystatin is particularly useful in managing oral thrush (fungus infection of the mouth).

About Dr. Muna

Dr. Muna Taqi is a Dental surgeon from India who has more than 10 years of experience in the field of Oral & Maxillofacial surgery, Endodontics, & Pedodontics. She has worked in multinational medical corporates in Middle East and is also a consultant dental surgeon for many. She has authored many articles for medical journals & websites and is a consultant dental expert for Healthdrip.

Check Also

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and Root Planing – The expression nonsurgical therapy suggests that the nonsurgical procedure so …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *