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J Clin Periodontol. 1995 Jan;22(1):22-35.

Tetracyclines in the management of periodontal diseases. A review.

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Department of Restorative Dentistry, Dental School, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.


Periodontal diseases essentially comprise a group of oral infections whose primary aetiological factor is dental plaque. Removal of the cause (and its effects) is the primary aim of both non-surgical and surgical treatment regimens, although the infective nature of the diseases has led to the widespread use of antimicrobials as an adjunct to mechanical debridement. The tetracyclines are primarily bacteriostatic agents that are effective against many Gram-negative species including putative periodontopathogens such as Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans (A.a.). The proven efficacy of this group of drugs in the management of periodontal diseases may be related not only to their antibacterial actions, but to a number of additional properties that have been recently identified. These include collagenase inhibition, anti-inflammatory actions, inhibition of bone resorption and their ability to promote the attachment of fibroblasts to root surfaces. Consequently, tetracyclines have also been used as an adjunct to bone grafting in periodontal defects, and as agents for 'conditioning' root surfaces to enhance the regeneration of periodontal tissues. When tetracyclines are taken orally, consideration must be given both to the potential unwanted effects and to interactions with other drugs that are taken concurrently. Such problems are minimised however, when the drugs are incorporated into controlled, slow-release formulations which are currently being researched and marketed for intra-oral use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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