Should Antibiotics Be Prescribed to Treat Chronic Periodontitis?

Dent Clin North Am. 2015 Oct;59(4):919-33. doi: 10.1016/j.cden.2015.06.011. Epub 2015 Aug 1.


Although scaling and root planing is a cost-effective approach for initial treatment of chronic periodontitis, it fails to eliminate subgingival pathogens and halt progressive attachment loss in some patients. Adjunctive use of systemic antibiotics immediately after completion of scaling and root planing can enhance the degree of clinical attachment gain and probing depth reduction provided by nonsurgical periodontal treatment. This article discusses the rationale for prescribing adjunctive antibiotics, reviews the evidence for their effectiveness, and outlines practical issues that should be considered before prescribing antibiotics to treat chronic periodontitis.

Keywords: Antimicrobials-systemic; Clinical trials; Oral biofilm; Periodontitis microbiology; Periodontitis therapy; Scaling and root planing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Biofilms
  • Chronic Periodontitis / drug therapy*
  • Chronic Periodontitis / surgery
  • Humans
  • Root Planing


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents