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Hi Dr Craig,

A year ago, my dentist told me I have periodontitis. When I knew exactly what it is in full detail through the internet, I felt like my happy days are over. My dental problems (bad teeth) keeps me from socializing a lot, and now this. My dentist did clean up my teeth and prescribed me antibiotics and this mouthwash called Orahex and it did stop the bleeding and swelling of my gums and I was relieved (though I know periodontitis is still there). At a certain point I stopped taking these treatment (only for a month or 2 if I remember) as prescribed. Then short after, I went to another dentist to fix my teeth and install braces.

Here's my situation, I'm currently in Italy studying music, and I've been away for more than a year now. For some practical reasons I couldn't go back home. So I'm here busy with my studies and didn't mind to consult a dentist (i did only once, long story but anyway he did nothing helpful to my teeth). My gums starts to bleed again, and it looked unusual, and I just know what's happening - has my perio got worse? Dental care here is too expensive, and I'm quite traumatized with my last experience (last consultation). So now, I rely more on researching through the internet.

Question. Can I retake the prescription of my first dentist? The antibiotics, and the mouthwash just to slow down the damage of my teeth and gums due to this disease, until I get back home July next year to get a major treatment. If yes, how long can I take the prescription, and can I take any brand of antibiotics, and the mouthwash?


Hi Kaying and thanks for your question.

I have to speak open and honestly with you about periodontitis for it to have any benefit for you. Forgive me if it sounds harsh, but it must be said.  Periodontitis must be managed and controlled very closely and regularly if you have any chance of maintaining your teeth.  Not only must your oral hygiene be optimal, but have to be under the care of dental hygienist and periodontist regularly throughout the year to evaluate the success of the treatment provided.  The flare-ups of infection need to be monitored and a tailor-made oral hygiene programme must be designed for you and your life-style. This condition does not benefit from the type of approach you have awarded it in the past. Not only are you pre-disposing yourself to antibiotic resistance by not completing the antibiotics as prescribed, but you are not benefiting from the long term effects thereof, thereby putting yourself at greater risk for a more aggressive and resistant type of periodontitis.

It would be unethical for me to say its okay for you to continue with the course of antibiotics without consulting a clinician beforehand. Certainly the mouthwash would be of benefit to you, but please make sure that whichever mouthwash you use, that it does not contain any sugars or alcohol, as these are food substrates which the bacteria feed upon.

I understand the costs involved and sometimes we are not in the right circumstances to get the treatment which we need, but consider the higher costs to you in the future by you not doing the right thing about it now. The accumulative destruction of the periodontium which occurs when this is left untreated and unmanaged, is severe and irreversible. Your oral health is vital for the rest of your general health and I know it is of concern to you, given your letter - and I commend you for being worried about it. With regular care it can be brought under control and you will have the peace of mind that you have done all you could to ensure this. I wish you all the very best, take care.

Kind regards
Dr Craig Peck


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Dr Craig W Peck ( B.Med.Sc., B.Ch.D., Clin. Botox, Cosmet. Derm.)


I am a General Dental Practitioner, with special interests in Cosmetic Dentistry & facial aesthetics and Periodontology, placing a strong emphasis on the establishment and maintenance of a healthy periodontium (the support structure of the tooth) before cosmetic options are considered. I uphold all principles of prevention above interventional treatment and try as far as possible, to remain conservative in my approach. I believe in detailed, open and honest patient discussion, establishing what the patients expectations are and what the reality is of achieving this and involving the patient at every level of the treatment. I have strong principles on ethical treatment and appropriate patient management. I have chosen to treat and rehabilitate many nervous and phobic patients, who, for whatever reason, find it impossible to take part in the very important task of even a routine check-up. I will accept questions relating to general and cosmetic dentistry (in conjunction with the use of facial cosmetic procedures) and dental fears/phobias. I will be more than willing to answer any academic questions in dentistry, biology, physiology, psychology and health sciences in general. As most dentists will tell you, there is often not only one way of dealing with a dental issue - so very often, there is no precise right and wrong way of approaching the problem. All clinicians vary when it comes to treatments and what works best in their hands is often the treatment that is advised. Be understanding of this and bear in mind that nothing lasts forever! Patients are happy to accept only a one-years warrantee when buying a new car, but seem to expect that dental work is going to last them their lifetime.


I have worked for many years in the UK and RSA as a general dental practitioner - within the NHS, private practice and the government dental health services. I am certificated for the administration of Botox and Dermal Fillers for facial lines and wrinkles as I have attended further courses in minimally invasive facial cosmetic procedures. I started seeing an increasing number of patients who presented with severe to moderate dental fears, even with full-blown phobias, so I started with the slow and patient task of tackling this problem and have successfully rehabilitated many patients. The key is good, effective, concise and understandable communication, shifting control from the dentist to the patient in order to slowly, but confidently, regain their trust back in dentistry, thereby giving them the feeling of achievement and this self-empowerment which drives them to the next level of treatment.

Academy of General Dentistry. American Dental Education Association. IAPAM (International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine). Professional Speakers, Writers and Managements Consultants in Dentistry. The British Dental Association. UK Aesthetics Group. ARC - Aesthetic Professionals. Botox. Aesthetics & Beauty. American Association for Dental Research. FDI - World Dental Federation. SOURCE1uk. World Dental Hygiene Forum. ProDentalCPD. Public Health Dentistry. Dentist Network. LinkedIn. Who's Who of South Africa.

B.Med.Sc. Degree (Medical Physiology and Medical Virology; Physiology Cum Laude; Stell 1994). B.Ch.D. Degree (Bachelor of Dental Surgery; Clinical Dentistry Cum Laude; Stell 1997). CPR and CPR-Advanced Courses (2000/2001; UK). Clinical Botox (UK, 2001). Cosmetic Dermatology (Botox and Dermal Fillers; RSA 2011).

Awards and Honors
Placed on the Dean's List at University for academic achievement (1994). Highest achievement in the subject Dental Materials. Medal from 3M and the Radiology Association of South Africa for highest achievement in the subject Dental Radiology and Imaging. Medal from The Periodontal Association of South Africa for highest achievement in the subject Periodontology. Highest achievement for Oral Medicine. Highest achievement in Oral Pathology. Received the DASA (Dental Ass. of South Africa) Gold Medal for highest achieving dental student across the 5 1/2 years of the Degree. Passed the subject, Clinical Dentistry with distinction in final year.

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