Antimicrobials used in dentistry
Chemotherapy is the use of chemicals to destroy or inhibit the growth of cells. Two broad classes of chemotherapeutic agents are used in pharmacology:
- antimicrobials and
- anticancer drugs.
The basis of antimicrobial chemotherapy is a differential sensitivity of the patient and microbe cells to the action of the drug. The drug may affect a structural component of the target cell which is not found in the patient, for example, the bacterial cell wall. Alternatively, a chemotherapeutic agent may inhibit a metabolic pathway peculiar to the microbe cells, for example, synthesis of folate.