Safe and effective microbial control

23 May 2023

Ross Walker details the risks associated with the overuse or incorrect use of antimicrobials.

Antimicrobials are crucial for safe and effective dental treatment in certain situations. They are designed to prevent, disrupt and destroy pathogens, reducing the risk of infection. However, overuse or incorrect use of antimicrobials is exacerbating the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), so it is important that dental professionals understand the risks and are aware of the protocols or products available to help.

The global threat of AMR

AMR has become a major concern around the globe. The urgency of the situation comes from the potential for bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites to change in a way that makes them impervious to the drugs and medicines that were previously used to destroy them. In particular, certain pathogens have developed a level of immunity to antibiotics, which renders traditional treatment useless and puts people at risk of serious harm to their health. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that common bacterial infections such as urinary tract infections, sepsis and sexually transmitted infections, as well as mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB), now show high rates of resistance to the antibiotics once used to treat them. Drug-resistant HIV is also becoming a growing concern, alongside the threat of malaria due to drug-resistant parasites. 

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