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Dental / Oral

Our Dental/Oral section contains medications for treating infection and inflammation of the teeth and gums such as gingivitis, periodontitis, periodontal abscess and ulcers; also infections in areas around the mouth such as cold sores.

The different classes of Dental/Oral medication are listed on the left of the page and when you click on one of these, the principal brand name products display in the left column and generic alternatives to the right. 

Use the search feature to quickly find the product you are looking for, by entering either the active ingredient, e.g. Clindamycin or the product name, e.g. Dalacin C 

Our antibiotics class or Dental-Oral health medications include oral antibiotics used to treat bacterial infection of the teeth and gums that can cause gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, and can lead to periodontal disease. 

Use the search feature to quickly find the product you are looking for, by entering either the active ingredient, e.g. Metronidazole or the product name, e.g. Trichozole

Bacterial infections of the mouth

The microenvironment of the mouth contains a rich variety of microorganisms, including bacteria that do not cause any harm under normal conditions.  If the natural balance is tipped, harmful bacteria can grow to excess and cause harm to the gums and teeth. This can be due to hormonal changes such as pregnancy or menopause, as a side effect of medication, stress or a medical condition such as diabetes or simply to poor oral hygiene.  The most important and effective way of keeping harmful bacteria at bay and protecting the teeth and gums is good oral hygiene including regular tooth-brushing and flossing of teeth.

If bacterial growth builds around the teeth this can lead to gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums, or periodontitis, which is a chronic bacterial infection of the supporting structures surrounding the teeth.  This can cause destruction of the tooth structure and also allow bacteria into the circulation, resulting in increased risk of systemic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.1

The body’s response to such a chronic infection can also influence the progression of periodontal disease and its interaction with other chronic diseases such as diabetes.  This can also happen in the reverse, whereby the body’s immune and inflammatory response mediates the severity of periodontal disease.

Use of antibiotics

Severe bacterial infections of the teeth and gums can be treated by oral antibiotics that inhibit growth and replication of the bacteria and thereby prevent further spread of the bacteria.

Antibiotics used for dental and oral bacterial infections include:

  • Clindamycin, a lincosamide antiobiotic that inhibits bacterial protein synthesis
  • Metronidazole that is effective against a wide range of bacteria and other microorganisms, and works by inhibiting DNA synthesis


  1. Preshaw PM. Diabetes and periodontal disease.  Int Dental J. 2008;S237-s243. 
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Our Antifungal class or Dental-Oral health medications include oral and topical antifungals used to treat fungal infection of the mouth, such as thrush that can cause bleeding and discomfort. <br/><br/>

Use the search feature to quickly find the product you are looking for, by entering either the active ingredient, e.g. Miconazole or the product name, e.g. Daktarin Oral Gel <br/><br/> 

What is thrush?

Oral thrush is caused by the yeast fungus candida albicans, which is normally present in small amounts on the mucus membranes of the mouth and tongue.  However, under certain conditions this fungus can become overgrown and form white patches in the mouth and throat.  These patches are colonies of candida and can produce a cottony feel in the mouth, which can affect taste and also cause the underlying tissues to become inflamed and to bleed, causing discomfort and sometimes, difficulty swallowing.

Thrush is common in in conditions like diabetes and in those who are immunocompromised such as with cancer or HIV/AIDS; also prolonged use of antibiotics or drugs like corticosteroids can allow the yeast to thrive and grow resulting in a thrush infection.  

Use of antifungals

Oral thrush can be treated by use of topical and oral antifungals.  These include:

  • Topical gel containing miconazole that can be applied directly to the site of infection
  • Oral drops containing nystatin
  • Oral tablets/capsules to treat the fungal infection systemically, including the antifungals fluconazole, Itracomazole and nystatin 
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Our Mouth Ulcers class of Dental-Oral medications are used to treat mouth ulcers, which are open lesions in the mouth, to relieve pain and promote healing. 

Use the search feature to quickly find the product you are looking for, by entering either the active ingredient, e.g. Triamcinolone or the product name, e.g. Kenalog 

What is a mouth ulcer?

A mouth ulcer is also known as a canker sore or aphthous stomatitis (inflammation of the mouth).  A mouth ulcer begins as a lesion or break in the mucous membrane on the lining of the cheeks, lips or throat.  It then forms a small shallow crater with a rim and can be painful, affecting eating and drinking. Mouth ulcers can heal themselves in time but often recur and can be caused as a result of injury or irritation to the inside of the mouth or tongue; when vulnerable such as at times of stress or hormonal changes; after eating certain foods or due to a nutritional deficiency, such as vitamin B12, folic acid or iron. 

Treatment for mouth ulcers

Although mouth ulcers usually heal themselves within two weeks, there are medications available to relieve symptoms.  The corticosteroid triamcinolone is available in a topical dental paste that can be applied directly to the mouth ulcer to help reduce pain and inflammation.  
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About plaque and tooth decay

Plaque is a sticky film that forms over the surface of the tooth and contains bacteria, which thrive on the sugar content of the diet.  The bacteria in this biofilm are not normally harmful, but if they are not regulated by regular teeth cleaning, the plaque builds up and the bacteria grow and produce acid, which is harmful to the teeth causing erosion of the enamel surface of the teeth.  The plaque also thickens and hardens into a substance called tartar or calculus, which can then only be removed by a dentist.

Accumulation of plaque can lead to dental caries or cavity and inflammation of the gums or gingiva, which leads to gingivitis.  Eventually the condition of the teeth can deteriorate into periodontitis.  

What is periodontitis?

Poor oral hygiene can cause periodontal disease or periodontitis, which is irreversible change to the supporting structures of the teeth.  This can lead to destruction of the teeth due to inflammation of the tissues that support the teeth, loss of alveolar bone, loosening and loss of teeth and periodontal pocketing. 

A periodontal pocket contains plaque, bacteria and calculus that have got into the space between the tooth and the gum.  As the bacteria spread below the gum line, the bone and connective tissue are eroded by toxins produced by the bacteria, and inflammatory chemicals produced during the body’s immune response to the infection.  This can cause irreversible damage to the structure of the tooth.

Periodontitis has also been associated with increased risk of more serious chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and stroke and has even been linked to premature births in mothers with periodontal disease.  Also control of blood sugar in people with diabetes is compromised by periodontal disease.

Symptoms of periodontal disease include:

  • Swollen, red, sore bleeding gums (gingivitis), which is usually the first sign of periodontal disease
  • Receding gums and the formation of periodontal pockets
  • Spaces appearing between the teeth, which may change the feel of the bite
Bad breath, a sign of bacterial infection

Periodontal abscess

An abscess can form in a tooth that develops an acute bacterial infection.  Bacteria in the gum or gingiva can invade the pulp that forms the inner layer of the tooth, causing acute inflammation resulting in a pus-filled pocket.  This abscess forms as a result of the body’s immune response to the bacterial infection. 

Oral and perioral infections

Bacterial, fungal and viral infection of the mouth and area around the mouth (perioral) are a common problem and can be treated by antibiotics, antifungal and antiviral medications.
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