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J Clin Periodontol. 1990 Aug;17(7 ( Pt 2)):479-93.

Antibiotics in periodontal therapy: advantages and disadvantages.

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Department of Periodontics, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine, Philadelphia.


Antibiotic treatment of periodontitis aims at eradicating or controlling specific pathogens. Prime candidates for antibiotic therapy are patients with recently diagnosed active periodontitis or a history of recurrent disease who fail to stabilize following mechanical/surgical therapy. Since a variety of microbes with differing antimicrobial susceptibility profiles may cause periodontitis, selection of antimicrobial agents should be based on proper microbial diagnosis and sensitivity testing, as well as consideration of the patient's medical status. The risk of treating chemotherapeutically solely on the basis of clinical features, radiographic findings or a limited microbiological analysis, is failure to control the pathogens or overgrowth of new pathogens. A review of published papers reveals that appropriate systemic antibiotic therapy may enhance healing in patients with recent or high risk of periodontal breakdown. Systemic antibiotic therapy seems more predictable than topical administration in eradicating periodontal pathogens from deep periodontal pockets. Several promising antimicrobial agents for periodontitis treatment need testing in placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized clinical trials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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