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Antibiotics and Dental Surgery: Do I Agree with Taking Antibiotics Preventatively? Part 2 of 2

Robyn Openshaw - Aug 13, 2012 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links


Dr. Larson, I have always appreciated how conscientious you are in your practice, and in your ongoing study to legitimately find the truth. And I think it’s impressive that you stay open minded….plenty of docs wouldn’t even ask me what I think. Like I once did, they trust only peer-reviewed-journal-published clinical trials. Of course, the drug industry INVENTED the clinical trial, which hasn’t ever been tested.

There’s plenty of evidence that should be considered that didn’t go through a multi-million dollar drug trial.

I am aware that occasionally antibiotics may be necessary, in a life-threatening situation. Thank goodness we have them for meningitis!

But I also believe that preventative antibiotics lead to ever-downward-spiraling health problems. I just can’t accept that 20 men on a firing squad are needed to remove a splinter. Just one trained practitioner, with fine instruments, is needed for that. We have lots of natural options that work, outside drugs.

Antibiotics—just one dose!—destroy the vast majority of healthy gut bacteria that is the crux of our immune system. A healthy gut has more organisms flourishing than the entire body has cells! And one round of antibiotic can cause cascading problems for years, even decades. I believe that virtually everyone in North America now has gut issues, and impaired digestion. The reasons?

Number one, antibiotic use. Number two, processed and preserved foods. Number three, genetically modified corn and soy, and hybridized wheat.

I wish that medical professionals would talk about the OTHER side of that issue—the guaranteed health problems that result from antibiotic use—and let the patient decide. That seems fair and right to me, that “professional liability” (CYA) not trump patient best interests to the point that so many of us are just avoiding the medical professional altogether.

I realize none of this is your fault, nor any single practitioner’s. The system has become very broken, where the American tort system has terrified doctors and made malpractice big business.

But I am on the patient advocate side, and I always look at what is best for the whole organism, for the long term. And I know quite a few docs standing up against the codification of medical care to be a monopoly for drug approaches—docs who are so angry that they risk status and even license to “do the right thing.”

I listen to people every day. At my lectures in 50 cities annually, and in emails, facebook, and my blog, people detail the chaos and devastation from their broken immune systems that always starts in the gut.

How do they have a chance, if AB’s are prescribed for just EVERYTHING? The body is never trusted, by the authors of the “standard of care,” to send white blood cells to the rescue and to do its job.

The medical system in the U.S., unlike in Europe and most other parts of the world, absolutely refuses to use natural plant extracts (herbs, essential oils, etc.) to aid and nurture the body’s immune system.

Antibiotics are a good thing only if they’re used once or twice in a lifetime, at most, to deal with an absolute crisis.

Twenty years ago, many who are well educated about the ramifications of AB use were sounding the alarm bell about overuse for ear infections and every cold and flu symptom.  Nobody listened much.

So we’ve gotten worse, rather than changing course. Now we prescribe antibiotics as PREVENTATIVES before every surgery, even dental surgeries. I worked on a mental hospital children’s unit where the kids were given MONTHLY antibiotics as preventatives!

I was told that endodontists would refuse to do a root canal on me, if I didn’t take a preventative AB. So I found an endodontist who didn’t have that policy. Perhaps he was stepping outside “standard of care.”

Or maybe he just looked the other way. (Later this month, I am having the tooth with that root canal, which failed 18 months later, removed. At the time I did not know how toxic the practice of fossilizing a dead tooth is. But now I do.)

Sure, on a rare occasion, there’s an infection that morphs to become something dangerous. But I take issue when doctors are alarmist about a possibility that is one in ten thousand. (That’s how docs got my mother to agree to AB’s every few months when I was a child—by telling them my strep could become scarlet fever.) I consequently spent a lot of my adulthood recovering my broken immune system.

Some of the risks of antibiotics are nearly 100%–yeast overgrowth and devastation of healthy flora in the gut, for instance.

In fact, on a rare occasion, an AB can be fatal too.

Most of the time, the body does its job after an insult like surgery, and the immune system is consequently strengthened.  My biological dentist has natural things to prevent disaster: before my oral surgery, I will have a high-dose IV Vitamin C. Dr. John Augsperger, who hosted my class in Colorado Springs last week, does the same, and he gave me his favorite dental hygiene product, the all-natural Tooth & Gum Tonic by Dental Herb Company.

I LOVE this stuff. No chemicals, alcohol, flavorings, preservatives, sweeteners, chemical poloxsamers or fractionated ingredients. It’s essential oils, herbs, all organic or wildcrafted. It’s the best mouthwash you’ve ever used, gum-disease preventative, and it’s really STRONG, too.

Dr. Augsperger is a biological dentist. I’ve found lots of them who research far beyond what the ADA-controlled dental schools teach, to discover a whole world of different thinking. It’s exciting, it’s empowering, it has lots of innovative solutions….and it’s just way outside “standard of care.”

Outside just dentistry, there are lots of natural antibiotics for child and adult use, that are cell specific and don’t destroy gut flora or healthy cells.  Colloidal silver. Garlic. Herbs like goldenseal.

Antibiotics virtually guarantee yeast overgrowth. They virtually guarantee that viruses and bacterial organisms will bring the whole organism to its knees, over and over, because now its defenses are down.

My friend Ben got a sinus infection and now he’s on antibiotics over and over, I think about 6 times in 2012 already. He has tons of devastating consequences for this vicious cycle, including terrible digestive problems, that many people suffer with now, thanks to our sick love affair with antibiotics.

(Similarly, medicine uses steroids with even more devastating effects on immunity.)

Anyway, Dr. L, this is my opinion and my experience. Since I started refusing antibiotics completely 17 years ago and using alternatives, my family has gotten dramatically healthier, and I’m happier with my arsenal of options, rather than being dependent on pharmaceuticals and waiting to get in to see a doc who, in the end, is kind of a one-trick pony with the prescription pad.

The main one, of course, is to keep them eating a plant-based, high-raw, mostly alkaline diet. Then they’re strong and far less susceptible to the scary stuff.

Your thoughts?

Posted in: Dental Health, Health Concerns, Preventive Care

9 thoughts on “Antibiotics and Dental Surgery: Do I Agree with Taking Antibiotics Preventatively? Part 2 of 2”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Good stuff! I’d sincerely like to hear Dr. G.L.’s reply to this. Doctor’s seem SO afraid to go against the “Standard of Care,” but I can hardly blame them with the outrageous lawsuits and insurance rates they deal with.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for you input Robyn. Because of having an excessive amount of anitbotics as a child I am now antibotic resistant and if there ever is a critical need for them my body can not tolerate them. Thankfully I too found a dentist who was willing to do a tooth implant without antibotics because I outlined the course of action that I would be taking with herbs and essential oils. I healed quicker than he had ever seen. Sadly, though, I am unable to get a much needed ankle replacement because of my inability to take antibotics and no doctors willing to work with me during the ankle surgery and the following requirements years after – such as going to the dentist. It is frustrating that the only way it seems one can get help with conventional medicine always involves antibotics. Thank you again Robyn for standing up for those of us who do not have enough of voice to be heard.

  3. Hi Robyn,

    After doing some research myself I am having an old root canal removed as well. I am planning on doing a bridge to fill the gap left by my removed molar. What are your plans following your extraction? I’m just wanting to make sure I’m making a wise choice.


  4. Anonymous says:

    Im not sure in what order these ailments attacked my system but the over usage of antibioics as a child (like 6x a year for 18 years) plus celiac disease, numerous other common food allergies, and then leaky gut combined with a terrible diet was a recipe for disaster. Thank god i found Joe Cross and Robin O.
    It has been 11 months since my raw food life style change and i have never felt better!
    Along with raw foods i have been taking Natren probiotics for almost a year along with aloe vera juice and i can honestly say im healed.
    I have lost 90+ pounds and started exercising heavily, im currently in the last two weeks of the insanity workout which is totally amazing considering 1 year ago i couldnt get out of bed and thought i was going to die at any minute.

  5. Anonymous says:


    I’d like to point out to you that the ADA and the dental industry as a whole, while not leaving AB’s by the wayside, are cognizant of the detrimental effects they can have. Total joint replacement is one of the reasons they are prescribed prophylactically, but not to EVERY patient with total joint replacement. Prophylaxis is only recommended for patients that have had a total joint replacement within the past 2 years, or those that are already immunocompromised. The industry is aware of the risks of willy-nilly AB prescriptions, but the bigger concern for them is on the population level, and not on the individual level as you talk about. The great fear is AB-resistant bacteria (MRSA or potentially more nasty critters).

    The other reason AB’s are prescribed prophylactically that wasn’t mentioned in your blog posts is that of infective endocarditis (IE). This is probably a more serious issue than with the joints. The heart obviously plays a bigger role in the human body than a hip. Such a heart infection will definitely affect one’s quality of life (probably more than having to start over with your gut flora) and also carries the risk of death. Because the resident staph and strep that makes its home in the mouth, it is virtually guaranteed that ANY invasive work in the mouth will bathe the blood stream with these bacteria, whether natural fillings or root canal obturations are being used or not. But as with orthopedics, the AHA updated their recommendations in May 2007 to be MORE STRICT in prescribing AB’s for IE. They removed 6 conditions as indications for AB use, and gave more specifics about when to use them. For example, they are definitely recommended for patients with a history of IE or those with prosthetic heart valves. The entire objective behind the new recommendations are to reduce the risk of bad outcomes. So thus the recommendations are for those patients who are at GREATEST RISK for having bad outcomes as a result from IE (death). They aren’t being prescribed as a broad solution for every patient. And also, the ADA is currently working hard on developing new, EVIDENCE-based recommendations for preventative AB use. And this is a general trend in dentistry as well, to not trust single clinical trials or individual journal articles, but to look at the EVIDENCE behind dental treatment.

    After reading your posts on dental AB’s, I wasn’t sure if you aware of the current recommendations for their use. It seemed as though you thought that they were prescribed for every patient with joint replacements and not sure if you knew about the IE. I hope this was informative for you. Thanks for raising questions. That is how progress is made and understanding is reached.


    PS Just curious, do you allow x-rays to be taken of your teeth when you receive dental treatment?

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Thanks Jason. Yes, I get digital x-rays, very low exposure, supposedly less than what you’re exposed to getting on a single airline flight.

  6. Anonymous says:


    I know this is not the place to write this but I’m short on time. Please come to Ogden . I have several co workers that I have been getting to switch over to smoothies and eating healthier . No one seems to want to travel to other cities further away then right in town. Please come to Ogden.


    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Sherry, see events for next month on the site; I am speaking in Bountiful. 🙂

  7. Anonymous says:

    I totally agree with your response to the dentist. If my comment is approved you both will read my response to NO antibiotics. They can be deathly and deadly to many. I am the first patient who ever refused them years back from this long time dentist in practice. And, I didn’t have any problems either since I ran “to” garlic as my natural penicillin and “not” drugs with side effects. All drugs have side effects–even destroying our good bacteria. I appreciate Dr. G L’s concern for all of us, but he should be looking into alternatives for his patients and himself.

    Actually my dog has her teeth cleaned by a professional vet without drugs, taking antibiotics or put down for hours into surgery for dental cleaning. It takes about 45 minutes for her natural dental cleaning procedure and lots cheaper. She comes out happy and with white clean teeth. If she needed surgery my choice would be a natural alternative for the dog without side effects. I am not certain if garlic would be it but would read about dog’s natural care and then decide. It surely would not be the drug route. I did make a bad mistake saying yes to “holistic” vet for who really scared me into drugs for my Lupus dog’s progressiveness. It cost her her ear infections and deafness plus multiple problems still 3 years later from the antibiotics and steroids. Never again. Plus very expensive to get her health back. Perhaps essential oils would be a good choice for dog and humans too.

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