ADA: Antibiotics Not Necessary for Most Toothaches
The American Dental Association (ADA) announced recently a new guideline indicating that in most cases, antibiotics are not recommended for toothaches. This guidance, published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, aligns with the ADA's longstanding antibiotic stewardship efforts and its pledged commitment to the U.S. government's Antimicrobial Resistance Challenge.

"Antibiotics are, of course, tremendously important medications," said Peter Lockhart, D.D.S., chair of the ADA expert panel that developed the guideline and research professor at Carolinas Medical Center - Atrium Health. "However, it's vital that we use them wisely so that they continue to be effective when absolutely needed."

The guideline offers example scenarios when antibiotics may be prescribed for a toothache. "When dental treatment is not immediately available and the patient has signs and symptoms such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, or extreme tiredness, antibiotics may need to be prescribed," said Dr. Lockhart. "But in most cases when adults have a toothache and access to dental treatment, antibiotics may actually do more harm than good."

The new guideline and accompanying systematic review find that healthy adults experiencing a toothache are best served not by antibiotics but by dental treatment and, if needed, over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

Source: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-10/ada-ann102219.php
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