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The Growing Problem of Antibiotic Resistance and How It Affects Our Peterborough Family Dentistry

Today, we want to talk about one of the single most pressing health issues of our time, one which is predicted to become the #1 killer in the world within the lifespans of ourselves and our children:

Antibiotic resistance

This is an issue which has been of growing concern in academic circles since the end of last century, and now it is finally starting to become recognized as the problem that it is.  Simply put, because antibiotics have been over-used all around the world, we have been accidentally breeding new forms of bacteria which are resistant to all the antibiotics we have.  

According to the World Health Org, if something doesn’t change, then by 2030 antibiotic-resistant bacteria will be killing more people than cancer.  Therefore, we are pledging to do everything we can at our Peterborough family dentistry practice to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use, particularly in children.  

How Did Drug-Resistant Bacteria Become a Problem?

Beginning with the discovery of penicillin in the early 20th Century, antibiotics were seen as true miracle drugs.  Millions upon millions of lives were saved from diseases which had previously been fatal throughout human history.  Just consider: in the middle ages, the Bubonic Plague killed roughly 1/3 of all people in Europe.  Today, the plague still exists, but it is easily treated with antibiotics, and never kills anyone unless they cannot obtain treatment.

This led to doctors -including dentists- spending decades prescribing antibiotics whenever there seemed to be even the slightest need.  Dentists of years past who had just conducted an oral surgery, for example, might have prescribed a schedule of antibiotics “just in case,” even if they had no reason to think a post-operation infection was likely.

The problem is, bacteria has continued to evolve.  An antibiotic might kill 99.99% of the bacteria it targets, but that .01% continued to survive and multiply and pass on antibiotic resistance to future generations.  Over time, this has led to the creation of so-called “superbugs” which simply cannot be killed by most or all the antibiotics we have.  

It is a problem that’s only growing, and doctors everywhere are recognizing we need to change our prescription practices.

How Dr. Christopher Moore Is Doing His Part to Slow Down Antibiotic Resistance

At Dr. Christopher Moore & Associates, we’re pledging to reduce the amount of antibiotics we prescribe at our Peterborough family dentistry practice.  In particular, we are restricting the prescription of antibiotics to children, who will be at the most risk of contracting “superbugs” in years to come.

To be clear, this does not mean we will refuse to prescribe antibiotics when there is legitimate need.  It just means we are taking care to always make sure a bacterial infection is present before prescribing, and that we will attempt to prescribe the most targeted antibiotics we can to target each specific infection.

If you have any questions about bacterial resistance or how our Peterborough family dentistry clinic is dealing with the problem, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

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