What Happens If You Dont Treat Your Tooth Infection
Dental infections were once a common cause of death. Modern advancements in dentistry, improvements in oral health , and antibiotics have considerably improved the outlook for tooth infection patients.
If you suspect that you or someone you know has a tooth infection, seek dental care immediately. Most tooth infections do not resolve on their own and require medical intervention to treat properly.
Even if your abscess ruptures on its own, it may not empty completely, leaving bacteria to potentially develop into serious, sometimes life-threatening infections in other parts of your body. If your infection does resolve on its own, it is likely to recur unless the underlying gum or tooth disease is treated by your dentist.
How Long Does It Take For Antibiotics To Work
An antibiotic is a medication used to kill or decrease the growthof bacteria. The lifesaving medications come in various forms and can be used totreat infections caused by bacteria. Antibioticscan treat the infection by attacking the wall surrounding the bacteria, interferingwith its reproduction, or by blocking the protein production of it.
Although you might not notice it right away, antibiotics beginworking as soon as you start taking them. Usually, within 2-3 days, youllstart feeling better and see an improvement in the infection. On average, afull course of antibiotics takes 7 to 14 days to complete depending on the typeused.
Most often, infections are resolved when antibiotics are usedcorrectly, but there are some instances when they wont work, like whentreating an infected tooth. Instead, youll need a root canal to prevent yourtooth from needing to be extracted.
Can You Take Doxycycline For A Toothache
Doxycycline is part of the tetracycline class of antibiotics. It isn’t typically a first-choice antibiotic rather, it is reserved for more serious infections.
Therefore, doxycycline should only be taken for a toothache if that toothache is caused by a severe infection and your dentist has prescribed it to you.
Doxycycline can also be used to help prevent the breakdown of gum tissue and help with the reduction of gum pockets in patients who have gum disease. At that dosage, however, it won’t treat bacterial infections.
Doxycycline for a tooth infection is not recommended in children under 12 because antibiotics from the tetracycline class can cause permanent tooth staining in children. It’s also not suitable for pregnant women.
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How To Deal With Tooth Infections: With Or Without Antibiotic Dosages
Having a toothache can be one of the most significant issues in your life. And a tooth infection will make it worst. The word infection may freak you out, but I can assure you there is nothing to worry about.
Your dentist will examine your teeth, and chances are, you will be prescribed an antibiotic if there is an infection. Antibiotics heal the wound fast. And theyll be helpful if you maintain the dosage.
Do you need to know everything about antibiotics for a toothache? Or how different antibiotics work? Or, particularly, how long does amoxicillin take to work for tooth infection? If yes, then keep reading!
Table of Content
Four Of The Best Kinds Of Antibiotic For Tooth Infection
Antibiotics just kill bacteria, right? Well, its not as simple as that. In fact, each kind of antibiotic targets a different strain of bacteria. And because there are over 150 strains of bacteria in our mouths, thats a pretty wide variety of medicine.
Its important to use the right antibiotic that targets the cause of your infection. Learn about the four most common kinds of antibiotics that can help you if you have a tooth infection below.
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Coverage And Cost Comparison Of Amoxicillin Vs Penicillin
Amoxicillin is a commonly prescribed antibiotic that is almost always covered by Medicare and insurance plans. The typical average cost of amoxicillin is around $24. However, a SingleCare discount card can lower this cost to around $5. Amoxicillin is usually purchased as a generic tablet, capsule, or oral liquid.
Like amoxicillin, penicillin is also widely available and covered by most insurance plans. If you are picking up penicillin from the pharmacy, it will most likely be the penicillin V or penicillin VK form. The average cost of penicillin V is $40. However, with a SingleCare discount card, this cost can be lowered to around $9. The cost will depend on which pharmacy you use and whether you get the pill or liquid form.
Antibiotic Prophylaxis For Dental Work
Your dentist may prescribe preventative antibiotics for certain dental services or before the treatment of your dental infection this is called antibiotic prophylaxis.
During certain dental treatments, the bacteria that reside in your mouth may enter the bloodstream, and prophylactic antibiotics can prevent infection.
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Clindamycin Vs Amoxicillin Which Antibiotic Is Best For Tooth & Sinus Infection
Clindamycin is an antibiotic that is given to treat bacterial infections. It works by stopping bacteria from producing the protein they require to reproduce in order to spread the infection in the human body. It will not work for viral infections.
The US Food and Drug Administration approved this antibiotic in February 1970. It is also on the WHOs List of Essential Medicines. In addition, it is available in multiple brand and generic versions.
How Much Amoxicillin Should I Take For Tooth Infection
Typical dosages of amoxicillin for a tooth infection are either 500 milligrams every 8 hours or 1,000 mg every 12 hours.
Typical dosages of amoxicillin with clavulanic acid are around 5002,000 mg every 8 hours or 2,000 mg every 12 hours, depending on the minimum effective dosage.
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How Long Does Antibiotic Take To Work
You may be a patient whos just been to the dentist. If you have a tooth infection, your dentist has possibly suggested the use of antibiotics. Its natural to think, How long does antibiotics take to work? How long does amoxicillin take to work for tooth infection?
Well, every antibiotic has a different time to kick in. It also depends on the kind of antibiotic resistance you have developed over the years. And also the kind of bacterial infestation on your gums. Yet, its common for antibiotics to kick in within a day or two.
Whether you feel the antibiotics kick in or not, please dont stop taking them. Theyll do their work fine if you complete the given dose. If you face any adverse allergic reaction after taking the antibiotics, contact your dentist immediately. Rather than asking how long does it take amoxicillin to work on a toothache, ask how to minimize the reactions.
Home Remedies And Otc Medications For Tooth Infections
Home remedies and over-the-counter medications can help ease your symptoms as youre taking antibiotics.Painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen are common OTC drugs to help with toothache. You can also try these easy tricks and home remedies to help with the pain:
- Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater
- Rinse your mouth with a mixture of water and baking soda
- Brush with a soft-bristle brush
- Avoid hot or cold foods
- Avoid chewing with the infected tooth
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Recommended Antibiotics For Tooth Infection
Your dentist will prescribe antibiotics based on the type of infection-causing bacteria. Antibiotics are classified according to their mode of action. And the dentist will select one that can completely eradicate the infection.
The most widely used class is erythromycin. It includes all three serotypes: enteric-coated, Gram-positive, and Gram-negative. Additionally, gentamicin-CASD and tetracycline are also included. Thus, if youre experiencing a runny nose or a headache, your dentist may recommend this.
Erythromycin is a penicillin substitute. Your dentist can prescribe it instead of penicillin. The local pharmacist will provide you with all the detailed instructions on the drug. And make sure you dont stop it earlier.
Which Antibiotics To Buy
Not all antibiotics are effective against all bacteria, and sometimes you might not even need antibiotics at all for your tooth infection. Thats why you should always consult a professional, before taking any antibiotics. After the examination, your dentist will know if you need antibiotics, according to the severity of the infection and recommend the type of antibiotics, depending on what bacteria is causing the infection. Only antibiotics you should buy, for your dental or any other issues, are ones your dental or other health professionals recommended. Never take antibiotics without a professional opinion. Taking unprescribed antibiotics can cause more harm than good. Antibiotics do have some possible side effects, depending on the type of antibiotic. You might even be allergic to some of them. This practice of taking unprescribed antibiotics also contributes to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance is when bacteria develop resistance to a certain class of antibiotics, or even several classes, making infections, caused by those bacteria, very tough to treat. So please, never take antibiotics if not prescribed by a medical professional and always follow your healthcare providers instructions.
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Dentist Group Says Antibiotics Not Needed For Most Toothaches
4 Min Read
– In most cases, adults dont need to take antibiotics for a toothache, according to new guidelines from the American Dental Association .
Even though patients with toothaches are often prescribed antibiotics to help ease symptoms and prevent worsening of the problem, healthy adults should generally have dental treatment instead of antibiotics, according to the ADA guidance published in the Journal of the American Dental Association.
Antibiotics should not be used until an infection progresses enough that it can no longer be treated with only dental treatment like a nonsurgical root canal, said Peter Lockhart, chair of the ADA expert panel that developed the guidelines and a research professor at Carolinas Medical Center – Atrium Health in Charlotte, North Carolina. Signs and symptoms of this progression include fever, swollen lymph nodes, facial swelling and extreme tiredness.
These recommendations apply to healthy adults, and are not intended to stop antibiotic use altogether, according to the ADA guidelines. The intent is to minimize overuse and the rise of more antibiotic-resistant infections by limiting antibiotic use to cases when these drugs are absolutely necessary.
Dental pain and swelling are the most common reason that patients go to the emergency room or doctors office for oral health problems, according to the ADA. Patients may have occasional sharp pain and a fever, or they might experience constant dull or severe pain.
Types Of Dental Infections
According to the American Association of Endodontists, you may have an abscessed tooth if you experience pain when chewing, an aching jaw or swollen gums. There are several types of dental infections that could possibly require antibiotic therapy, as the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario outlines:
A periapical abscess is an infection around the tip of a tooth’s root, originating from an infected nerve chamber in the tooth. This is the most common dental emergency, and typical symptoms may include visible swelling, sensitivity to hot and cold and a bad taste in the mouth.
A periodontal abscess is a bacterial infection in the gum tissue that can occur if a person is unable to properly clean the pockets in the collar of gum tissue surrounding their teeth. This condition is often associated with periodontal disease and loss of the bone that forms the sockets that support the teeth. Typical symptoms include swelling of the gum tissue and accumulation of pus.
This infection is essentially a hybrid of a tooth abscess and an infection in the gums. It usually occurs when a dental abscess remains untreated and the infection spreads into the gum and bone tissues surrounding the tooth.
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When Are Antibiotics Recommended For A Tooth Infection
If you have a tooth infection, seeing a dentist as soon as possible is important to prevent any sort of infection from spreading. Your dentist will likely prescribe an antibiotic to help kill the bacteria causing your tooth infection. The good news is that if the infection is caught early enough it can be treated.
Read on to learn more about when you should use antibiotics to treat tooth infections.
How Can I Tell If My Tooth Infection Has Spread
Untreated infections in your mouth can travel to other areas, including your face, jaw, and neck, which can be life-threatening. Very rarely, infection can travel to your brain. If you have any of the following signs or symptoms along with your tooth pain, get medical help right away:
Skin redness or swelling in your neck or face
Pain with opening your mouth or touching your jaw or face
Changes in mood or vision
Confusion and extreme drowsiness
Severe pain and overall feeling of being unwell
Untreated tooth infections can also spread to your bloodstream. This can cause a life-threatening infection called sepsis or even travel to your heart.
If you have any symptoms that might indicate your tooth infection has spread, visit an emergency department immediately.
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Do Antibiotics Have Side Effects
Just like every other medicine, theres a possibility of experiencing side effects when you take antibiotics for tooth infections. What these may be depend on the kind of drug it is.
Make sure you discuss the possible side effects with the dentist, and you read the medicines informational leaflet. This will help you stay prepared and avoid any surprises during your treatment.
For example, diarrhea can be a common side effect of antibiotics. And that tid-bit of knowledge can be very helpful if you want to avoid any potentially embarrassing situations.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Dental Infection
Depending on the location and extent of the infection, dental infection symptoms can range from mild to severe. If you have a tooth infection, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- A lump or bulge around the infected tooth
- Throbbing or persistent pain around the infected tooth
- Throbbing or constant pain that radiates to your jaw, neck, or ear
- Pain in your face
- Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
- A swollen mouth or face
- Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Tenderness or sensitivity to touch around the infected tooth
- A discolored or loose tooth
- Bad breath or a foul taste in your mouth
- Difficulty opening your mouth
If a tooth infection goes untreated, bacteria can spread and infect areas of your jaw, face, head, or neck. In rare instances, your infection can develop into a serious skin infection or blood infection . Symptoms of a tooth infection spreading to body parts outside the mouth include:
- Feeling generally ill or unwell
If you experience these symptoms, seek medical attention from a healthcare provider immediately.
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How K Health Can Help
If you think youre suffering from a tooth infection, you dont have to suffer through the painor take the risk of an infection spreading to the body. Did you know you can get affordable primary care with the K Health app?
to check your symptoms, explore conditions and treatments, and if needed text with a doctor in minutes. K Healths AI-powered app is HIPAA compliant and based on 20 years of clinical data.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
K Health has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.
Conditions Treated By Amoxicillin And Penicillin
Amoxicillin and penicillin can treat many different bacterial infections including lower respiratory tract infections and dental infections. Amoxicillin and penicillin are commonly prescribed to treat middle ear infections, otherwise known as otitis media. Both antibiotics can also treat certain infections of the urinary tract and skin.
Amoxicillin is FDA-approved to treat bacterial infections such as gonorrhea. It can also treat H. pylori infections and throat infections like pharyngitis and tonsillitis. For respiratory tract infections like community-acquired pneumonia , amoxicillin is an option in areas with low antibiotic resistance.
Penicillin is often used to treat bacterial endocarditis, scarlet fever, and dental infections. Skin infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus can also be treated with penicillin, although the penicillin G form is preferred.
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Ciprofloxacin For Tooth Infection
It is a cephalosporin antibiotic. They operate by preventing bacterial wall formation. It works well against root canal infections. In Cipro vs. Amoxicillin for tooth infection, dentists prefer Cipro for post-operative and amoxicillin for general infections.
Probiotics are often prescribed together with tooth infection medications. The combination assists healthy gut flora. Probiotics can mitigate the effects of antibiotics on beneficial bacteria in the stomach.
How Long Does It Take For Antibiotics To Reduce Swelling From Tooth Infection
You can start feeling the effects of antibiotics on a tooth infection in as little as a day. But just because your pain and swelling have gone away doesn’t mean your infection is entirely cured!
Your antibiotics won’t completely take care of the infection until you’ve taken them over a course of 7 to 10 days, and always for the complete amount of time your dentist has prescribed.
It’s extremely important that you take all of the antibiotics that your dentist has prescribed, exactly as prescribed. If not, you could just make bacteria resistant to the antibiotics and make your infection ultimately more difficult to treat.
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