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Fluoroquinolones : Dental Health and Bladder Infections

Large antibiotic pills

Traditionally we have relied on antibiotic drugs to treat bladder infections. Courses prescribed range from 3 days up to several years. In this article we'll be discussing the dangers of the class of antibiotics known as Fluoroquinolones. Other types of antibiotics include:

  • Trimethoprim (Trimpex)
  • Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra, Cotrim)
  • Amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox, Wymox)
  • Nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Furadantin)
  • Ampicillin (Many brands)

The Dangers of Fluoroquinolones

We are faced with grave concerns about safety and efficacy that can no longer be ignored. We know that antibiotics destroy good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, as well as Lactobacilli in the vagina, and that a balanced microbiome is essential to good health.

Resistant micro-organisms (including bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites) are able to withstand attack by antimicrobial drugs, such as antibacterial drugs (e.g. antibiotics), antifungals, antivirals, and antimalarials, so that standard treatments become ineffective and infections persist, increasing the risk of spread to others.

World Health Organisation

Drugs that end with the suffix "floxacin" all belong to a class of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones. Several earlier versions of fluoroquinolone antibiotics were removed from the market for causing dangerous side effects.

Quinolones (fluoroquinolones) are a class of antibiotics that are currently one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics in the world. They are very powerful medications prescribed to treat a wide variety of infections. They were never meant to be used as a first line of defense against routine infections, which is how they are often prescribed today. Like all antibiotics, quinolones, have the ability to cause side effects. However, what differentiates this class of antibiotics from others is that quinolones can cause severe adverse reactions that can disable the healthiest of individuals creating long lasting injuries.

A fluorinated drug can have a similar toxic effect on the body in exactly the same way as any excess fluoride exposure does. In 2008, the FDA ruled that fluoroquinolones must have black box warnings on their labels about the risks of tendinitis and tendon rupture. In 2013, they again ruled that warnings of permanent peripheral neuropathy must also be in place.

It is now thought that the DNA of mitochondria are damaged by fluoroquinolones. Mitochondria are the basis of all energy production at a cellular level, as well as other cell functions that are vital to life.

How much fluoride is acceptable?

Drinking water contains about 1 part per million, or 1 millilitre of fluoride per 1 litre of water. Dental fluorosis is a known adverse effect of fluoride overuse. Enamel or dental fluorosis is a condition caused by 'excessive' intake of fluoride over an extended period of time. The most obvious symptom of dental fluorosis is a chalk-like discoloration of teeth with white spots that are visible on the tooth enamel. In more severe cases the affected areas have a yellow or brown discoloration. In extreme forms, fluorosis may result in a pitted tooth surface.

Fluoride causes dental fluorosis by damaging the cells that form the enamel, called ameloblasts. Damage to these cells results in a mineralization disorder of the teeth, whereby the porosity of the sub-surface enamel is increased.

Fluoride consumption can exceed the safe dose when a child drinks a lot of fluoride containing water in combination with other dietary fluoride sources (foods with high fluoride content), or by just swallowing fluoridated toothpaste. Contact your dentist for area specific advice.

Preventing Dental Fluorosis

Parents should take the necessary measures for preventing dental fluorosis on their children teeth:

  • Powdered or liquid concentrate infant formula should be mixed with water that is fluoride-free or contains low levels of fluoride.
  • Do not use fluoride toothpaste until the child is two years old unless advised to do so by a dentist.
  • For children aged two and older, place only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste on the toothbrush at each brushing.
  • Avoid toothpastes with flavours that may encourage swallowing.
  • An adult should supervise the use of fluoride-containing dental products by children younger than six years old, and check that they do not swallow it.

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