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Amoxicillin use in infancy linked to dental fluorosis in later life

The feasibility of administering antibiotics to children to combat minor infections has always been a contentious point among the medical fraternity. But among the antibiotics that are generally used, amoxicillin was considered // the relatively safest one. Not any longer, if researchers from the University of Iowa have their way.

These researchers found that using amoxicillin to combat infant ear infections caused sever damage to the developing permanent teeth. Overall, they tracked 579 children from birth to 32 months and ensured that these kids had used amoxicillin at some point in thier short life. The researchers found that around 24 percent of the children developed dental fluorosis, a condition that causes brownish flecks or stains on the enamel of the teeth.

"Duration of amoxicillin use was related to the number of early-erupting permanent teeth with fluorosis," the researchers said. They conclude that amoxicillin use in early life was potentially harmful to the developing permanent teeth, "While the results of this one study do not warrant recommendations to cease use of amoxicillin early in life, they do further highlight the need to use antibiotics judiciously, particularly during infancy," wrote study author Liang Hong. The detailed report can be accessed in the current issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

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