Tetracycline is a common prescription antibiotic, and while its use was widespread in the past, many people didn't understand the negative effects that the drug could have on the teeth.
Older adults don't tend to experience adverse side effects, but young children are at a heightened risk for dental abnormalities, and pregnant women can put their unborn children at risk.
The Adverse Effects of Tetracycline and the Teeth
Tetracycline can be prescribed for infections and skin condition, but when given to children, it can create stained and unsightly teeth. It only causes damage to teeth that are in development, so this is why young children experience the negative effects.
A pregnant woman who is prescribed tetracycline will also run the risk of negatively affecting her baby's teeth as they develop. For this reason, many dental professionals will avoid prescribing tetracycline in order to protect their patients' teeth.
Reversing the Damage of Tetracycline
There are a variety of options out there to treat infection, so the first things that dentists can do to help their patients is to choose a different antibiotic. If stains are present, there are a variety of whitening and high-powered bleaching options available that can help to remove them.
Professional bleaching can make the teeth look attractive and healthy even following the use of tetracycline and can provide more effective results than over the counter systems.
If your dentist attempts to whiten your teeth, but you don't have success in removing the stains, other treatment options might be available. Bonding can be used on the front teeth, as can dental veneers.
If other damage is present, you might want to consider caps or crowns that can be made to match the exact shape and color of your teeth. Contact our office about what options might be available to help with your tetracycline stains.
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