What Is Tetracycline?
Tetracycline is a prescription antibiotic that is often prescribed for the treatment of bacterial infections, acne, and Helicobacter pylori infections. By decreasing bacteria’s ability to make protein, the medication is effective at stopping bacteria from continuing to live and causing infection in the body. Potential side effects of tetracycline include nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.
Tetracycline (sold as generic Tetracycline tablets or capsules, or under a variety of brand names, including Sumycin®, Achromycin®, and Wesmycin®) is a prescription antibiotic that is licensed to treat a number of common infections. It is part of a class of antibiotics called tetracyclines. Other medicines in this class include doxycycline and minocycline.
What Is It Used for?
Tetracycline is licensed to treat a number of conditions. Some uses include:
- Treatment of bacterial infections, such as:
- Lyme disease
- Certain types of pneumonia
- Certain types of urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- Acne treatment (see Tetracycline for Acne)
- Treatment of Helicobacter pylori infections.
The medication has not been approved for use in children under the age of eight. Treating children under the age of eight with tetracycline can cause permanent grayish-yellow brown staining of teeth.
Is Bad Breath Bothering You?
Bad breath or “halitosis” is a problem for 50% of Americans. Between $1-$3 billion is spent annually on gums, mints and other fresh breath products. Bad breath is caused either by internal or external factors. Oral causes account for 90% of bad breath and the main causes are due to:
- Food debris
- Poor oral hygiene
- Poor tongue hygiene
- Periodontal (gum) disease
- Caries (cavity)
- Xerostomia (dry mouth)
Internal factors include oral factors that can affect the body systemically. The tongue provides a place for bacteria to attach and grow. Most odor-causing bacteria produce compounds that cause bad breath called volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs). These primary VSCs that cause bad breath are hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan. Most of these odor-causing bacteria reside in the posterior area of the tongue.
On the other hand, external causes are infection or disease in other parts of the body with odors being carried by the blood to the lungs, where the odor is expelled through the nose and mouth. Some examples of diseases are diabetes, lung infections or abscesses, kidney/liver failure, and gastrointestinal conditions.
For bad breath that is caused by internal factors, continue to properly clean your mouth with an antibacterial fluoride toothpaste, floss daily and clean your tongue with a tongue brush or scraper. For bad breath caused by external factors, immediately consult your physician.
There are several ways to know if you have bad breath but the easiest and the most powerful tool is licking the back of your hand, letting it dry, and smelling it.
Stains beneath the tooth enamel are known as intrinsic stains. This type of staining is commonly caused by:
- Defects within the tooth
- Use of certain antibiotics during tooth development
Also, your diet can affect the brightness of your smile. The following foods and beverages often contribute to tooth stains on or beneath tooth enamel:
- Tobacco products
- Red wine
- Colored juices
- Cola drinks
- Minerals in well water
If you are concerned about the color of your teeth, ask your dentist about various options for teeth whitening, including: