Dental News: Are Antibiotics Necessary For Toothaches?

Trusted Health Products
Written By Kevin Kerfoot / Reviewed By Ray Spotts

A new guideline indicates that in most cases antibiotics are not recommended for toothaches. This guideline aligns with the American Dental Association’s antibiotic stewardship efforts and commitment to the U.S. government’s Antimicrobial Resistance Challenge. Patients with toothaches are often prescribed antibiotics by physicians and dentists to help relieve signs and symptoms and prevent progression to a more serious condition. The new guideline and systematic review - published in the Journal of the American Dental Association - finds 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.

Antibiotics, which are designed to stop or slow the growth of bacterial infections, don’t necessarily help patients experiencing a toothache, studies show. They can also cause serious side effects with overuse resulting in bacterial strains that are resistant to antibiotics. The guideline offers example scenarios when antibiotics may be prescribed for a toothache. “Antibiotics are, of course, tremendously important medications,” says 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. 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. But in most cases when adults have a toothache and access to dental treatment, antibiotics may actually do more harm than good.”

Enzymatic Blade For Orthodontic Surgery

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology researchers recently developed a nanotechnology that replaces the surgical scalpel with an “enzymatic blade.” They describe the application of this technology in a surgical procedure in the oral cavity which spares the pain associated with orthodontic surgeries and significantly reduces tissue recovery time. The technology is based on rational use of enzymes – biological molecules the body uses to repair itself, as well as the use of nanoparticles for achieving a targeted therapeutic profile.

The technology softens the collagen fibers via the targeted release of collagenase, an enzyme that specifically breaks down collagen. Using techniques developed in the Laboratory of Targeted Drug Delivery and Personalized Medicine at the Wolfson Faculty of Chemical Engineering, the collagenase is packaged into liposomes – nanometric vesicles. As long as the collagenase particles are packaged in the liposome, they are inactive. But with this special nanotechnology, an ointment is applied on the target site so that the enzyme begins to gradually leak from the liposome and soften the collagen fibers. For the study - published in ACS Nano - the researchers performed a series of tests to determine the collagenase concentration optimal for the procedure and to accelerate tissue repair thereafter.

About five million people in the U.S. undergo orthodontic treatment each year. To speed up treatment, which typically lasts about two years, many undergo invasive surgery, in which collagen fibers that connect the tooth to the underlying bone tissue are cut. In a preclinical trial, the researchers compared the efficacy of the controlled-release system, in combination with braces, to that of standard orthodontic treatment and concluded that the system reduces the time required for straightening teeth and improving therapeutic outcome. This would translate to an orthodontic treatment in humans that lasts several months, instead of two years. The researchers estimate that it could be used in humans within a couple of years. “Over thousands of years, the surgical knife has been upgraded, however, the general paradigm has not changed,” says study leader Dr. Assaf Zinger. “Here, in the current study, we present a considerable paradigm shift: replacing the metal blade with a biological process.”

Looking for a 100% all-natural liquid tooth oil and mouth rinse? Check out OraMD Original Strength and OraMD Extra Strength. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral health and skincare. If you are looking for more health resources make sure to check out the Trusted Health Resources list. 

Written By:

With over 30 years of writing and editing experience for newspapers, magazines and corporate communications, Kevin Kerfoot writes about natural health, nutrition, skincare and oral hygiene for Trusted Health Products’ natural health blog and newsletters.

Reviewed By:

Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at 

Photo by socaldental care on Unsplash

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