Dr Google isn’t always right - not every pain or infection requires an antibiotic

Fatal antibiotic-resistant diseases are on the up, warns Lucy Stock of Gentle Dental Care

The bacteria involved in a tooth abscess makes your face swell and creates a head-banging toothache
Be careful when consulting Dr Google; listen to a medical professional, because an antibiotic isn't always the answer...

No-one enjoys being on the end of a tongue-lashing at work. However, healthcare professionals are experiencing just that on a dishearteningly and increasingly common basis.

Let’s look at when antibiotics are not prescribed. This can trigger a dressing down of the dentist, doctor, or nurse, leaving a lingering saddening aftertaste and far-reaching negative consequences to innovation and patient care over time.

Take the situation of a toothache where the pain remains locally around the mouth area. Many local infections are better dealt with by employing targeted ‘disinfection’ treatments while other infections clear up over time by themselves when our amazing immune system kicks into action.

Experts across the world are determined to slow down the rise in AMR, which is partly fuelled by unnecessary use of antibiotics.
The unnecessary use of antibiotics risks reducing their effectiveness when they are actually needed

Antibiotics have two basic modes of action. They either go all out and kill bacteria by messing with their cell walls or act like a chemical contraceptive and stop them from reproducing.

Viruses don’t have cell walls, so antibiotics are useless in treating a viral infection. Fungi are so similar to human cells that it’s difficult to create an antibiotic that singles out the fungus without damaging human cells.

So, say someone moderately bangs a tooth which elicits pain. The pain from a banged tooth can be due to it being “bruised’, not from an infection, so is similar to what happens when you bang your leg – taking antibiotics in this situation is not only fruitless but can be damaging.

Antibiotics affect our entire system and often tornado through our finely balanced microbiome ending in an attack of the runs. Antibiotics can also spark a serious allergic reaction, and fatal antibiotic-resistant diseases are on the up. A UK government report predicts 10 million people a year will die from drug-resistant infections by 2050 unless we act swiftly.

By all means raise your concerns with your dentist, doctor or nurse but kindly do so respectfully and with an open mind; sometimes Dr Google and patients hold erroneous beliefs...

Not all pains or infections require an antibiotic. Accordingly, health practitioners go by logical guidelines based on biological principles for prescribing antibiotics to treat diseases.

So, by all means, raise your concerns with your dentist, doctor or nurse (we all have the potential to be wrong, we are human) but kindly do so respectfully and with an open mind; sometimes Dr Google and patients hold erroneous beliefs...

Always be on the lookout for signs of tracking sepsis infection which include chills, confusion, fever, feeling very cold, lightheadedness, racing heartbeat, skin rash, mottled or warm skin – seek immediate medical attention.