University of Iowa is Suggesting that a Common Antibiotic May Result in Increased Risk of Dental Problems in Kids
According to a study conducted by the University of Iowa, the use of a common antibiotic – amoxicillin – may result in increased risk of dental problems in kids. Amoxicillin is a medication that is utilized to treat a large assortment of bacterial infections.
The most common bacterial-based infections that detrimentally impact children include various types of skin infections, infections that affect the ears, and infections of the throat.
Due to the increased use of amoxicillin, researchers conducted a study on children prescribed the medication to determine if there are any long-term dental effects associated with its use. While more research is needed, the medication did seem to link to the development of dental problems.
In this post, you will learn about this study and the results.
The Tooth Study
The study conducted on amoxicillin was conducted on a total of 579 kids. During their first year of life, their usage of amoxicillin was recorded every three months. At the age of nine, each child’s mouth was checked for a condition identified among professionals as “fluorosis”. This is considered a common issue that affects the development of tooth enamel.
If a tooth is exposed to a high amount of fluoride when the enamel is forming, white spots, pits, and even brownish-colored stains may appear on the teeth. Once the oral examinations were completed, the researchers discovered that if a child had been prescribed amoxicillin between three months of age and six months of age, they were two times more likely to have the condition of fluorosis.
The main researcher on this project was Liang Hong, DDS, MS, and PhD, who has worked with both the University of Iowa and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
More Research Required
While it is true that more research is needed in this, this is an eye opener for both the dental community and the medical community. It helps practitioners understand that consideration must be made when it comes to the prescribing usage of both fluoride and antibiotic medications. Dental practitioners often identify fluorosis in their patients – particularly pediatric patients.
In addition to the link between amoxicillin and the condition, other types of antibiotic medications – such as tetracyclines – have been found to detrimentally impact the development of teeth and the components of teeth, such as enamel. This is an area that does require more research.
While it is true that most children will – eventually – require antibiotics for a bacterial infection, parents, doctors, and other prescribing practitioners are urged to only prescribe when absolutely necessary. Not only will this help in strengthening the immune system of a child and reducing dental problems later in life, but it will also aid in preventing antibiotic-resistance throughout the world.
Currently, there are over 100 antibiotics in current use. There are seven main classes. Combinational antibiotics also exist; however, antibiotic resistance is on the rise. By avoiding unnecessary antibiotic usage, there are more available for when absolutely needed and their usage will be more effective.