The information provided here is meant to give you a general idea about each of the medications listed below. Only the most general side effects are included, so ask your dentist or doctor if you need to take any special precautions. Use each of these medications as recommended by your doctor, or according to the instructions provided. If you have further questions about usage or side effects, contact your doctor.

Antibiotics to help treat periodontal disease are still being studied. Medications may be delivered in a number of ways, including as:

  • Pills, taken by mouth
  • Tiny fibers, microchips, or microspheres that can be placed between the teeth or into deep gum pockets to slowly release the medicine into the surrounding area
  • Gels that can be placed into infected pockets in the gums

Prescription Medications

Tetracyclines

Common names include:

To avoid stomach upset, be sure to take tetracycline with food. Wait two hours between taking antacids or drinking milk and taking a dose of tetracycline. Doxycycline and minocycline can be taken without food or milk. Always take these medicines with a full glass of water.

While you are taking tetracycline, tell your doctor or dentist prior to any medical or dental procedures or surgeries.

Possible side effects include:

  • Stomach cramps, burning
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Permanent tooth discoloration in children
  • Increased sun sensitivity
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Decreased effectiveness of oral contraceptives

Special Considerations

If you are taking medications, follow these general guidelines:

  • Take your medication as directed. Do not change the amount or the schedule.
  • Do not stop taking them without talking to your doctor.
  • Do not share them.
  • Know what the results and side effects. Report them to your doctor.
  • Some drugs can be dangerous when mixed. Talk to a doctor or pharmacist if you are taking more than one drug. This includes over-the-counter medication and herb or dietary supplements.
  • Plan ahead for refills so you don’t run out.