Infections of the teeth and oral cavity can increase in severity and develop into life threatening situations if not properly managed. Infection management can consist of a combination of dental or surgical procedures and the use of antimicrobials. Antimicrobials are drugs that suppress or kill the growth of microbes – bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. Antimicrobial activity is maximized when the specific microbe causing the infection is identified by culture or serologic testing and the antimicrobial most active against that microbe is administered in appropriate doses. The most common antimicrobials used in dentistry are antibiotic agents, antifungal agents and antiviral agents.
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