According to a study by Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), California, antibiotics prescribed by dentists may contribute to the growing problem of Clostridium difficile (C. diff), an infection which has the potential to cause severe diarrhoea in an individual . The study was conducted over six years by multiple researchers.
The study, further noted that patients who were prescribed antibiotics for dental procedures tended to be older and more likely to receive ‘clindamycin’ — an antibiotic that is associated with the infection.
More interestingly, the study stated that many of the antibiotics by the dentists are unnecessary. Dentists across the country say that the medicine is always carefully prescribed.
“Clindamycin is given in case of severe infections. It is given very carefully and only in case of resistant infections. So the severity of side-effects is obviously taken care of,” said Dr Rajesh Iyer, member of Indian Dental Association and head of Vyughadhanth Dental Clinic, Thane.
Furthermore, dentists assure that the medicine is normally combined with antacids to nullify the effect.
“C. diff happens due to excess of exotoxins produced by the bacteria. Ideally in dentistry, antibiotic is prescribed only if required and if the infection present cannot be treated by just procedures. Also, Clindamycin is usually alongside antibiotics we prescribe antacids to nullify the effect,” said Dr Shruti Salian, member of the scientific and research team of the Indian Dental Association. She is also the head of Vishrujits dental care and implant centre, Borivali.
What does the antibiotic ‘Clindamycin’ basically do?
As you consume the clindamycin, the antibiotic kills good as well as bad bacteria.
This in turn, wipes out the protective bacteria that allow the growth of Clostridium difficile bacteria.
The antibiotic is also one of the top three most severe threats identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).