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Health Tip: My Dentist Wants Me to Take an Antibiotic

It may help ward off periodontal disease

(HealthDay News) -- Our mouths are full of bacteria. Combined with mucus, they cause a sticky plaque to form on our teeth.

Brushing and flossing can remove some of this plaque, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. But what remains can harden and form tartar, which brushing probably won't remove.

The longer plaque and tartar are on the teeth, the more harmful they become. The bacteria can cause the gums to bleed and swell -- a condition called "gingivitis."

If gingivitis is not treated, it can lead to periodontal disease, causing pockets of infection and the gums to pull away from the teeth. This can lead to tooth loss.

An antibiotic gel can ward off the infection and help save your pearly whites.

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