What Are The Most Common Symptoms Of A Tooth Infection
If youve never had an infected tooth before, you might be wondering how youd know if your tooth was infected. Pain is often the most common sign of a tooth infection. Unfortunately, this pain isnt always confined to the tooth itself. Because our teeth are connected to so many nerves, pain from an infected tooth can extend into the jaw, face, and neck. Talk about discomfort!
Other signs to look for include:
Tooth sensitivity to heat, cold, and/or pressure
Tenderness around the tooth
Swelling of the mouth, jaw, or face
If you have a dental abscess that bursts open on its own, you might taste a strong, salty fluid that could also smell bad.
Benefits Of Taking Amoxicillin For A Tooth Infection
All antibiotics work by stopping the growth of bacteria that cause an infection, which can also alleviate your pain.
Amoxicillin, a type of antibiotic known as a penicillin class antibiotic, is one of the most common antibiotics prescribed by doctors for that reason, its considered a front-line antibiotic.
Along with treating pneumonia, bronchitis, urinary tract infections, and ear infections, amoxicillin also works well for tooth infections.
While a mild abscessed tooth may resolve on its own, dentists often prescribe amoxicillin if theyre concerned the infection could spread, or when a patient has a weakened immune system.
Compared to other antibiotics, amoxicillin also generally causes fewer major side effects, making it a great first option for treating an abscessed tooth.
Amoxicillin For A Tooth Infection: Benefits & Side Effects
Are you experiencing a jaw ache, toothache, swollen gums, or pain when you chew?
If so, you may have a tooth infection. Also known as a dental abscess, a tooth infection occurs when bacteria infects either gum tissue or the area around the tooths root.
An abscessed tooth may occur after dental work, or it may stem from poor oral health.
A tooth infection can be treated in different ways depending on its severity, and its important to seek care from a dentist or doctor, who can recommend the proper management.
One way dentists treat a tooth infection is with antibiotics, a type of medication that stops bacterial growth.
Amoxicillin, a penicillin class antibiotic, treats many types of bacterial infections, including tooth infections. It typically helps to resolve tooth infection symptoms within a few days, but as with all medications, amoxicillin may also cause side effects.
Make sure to talk to your healthcare provider if youre experiencing unwanted side effects, or if your tooth infection isnt improving or is getting worse with treatment.
In this article, Ill cover the benefits of taking amoxicillin for a tooth infection.
Ill outline the dosage youll take, how long it will take for the antibiotics to work, and potential side effects.
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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.
Will Bactrim Treat Tooth Infection
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How Long Does Amoxicillin Take To Work On A Tooth Infection
Antibiotics work relatively quickly to resolve tooth infections and control symptoms.
If you follow your healthcare providers instructions, the effects of antibiotics should take effect within a few days.
While you wait for your antibiotics to work, your dentist may recommend you take pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to manage the symptoms.
Sometimes, dentists also suggest patients use a salt water mouthwash to relieve discomfort from a tooth infection.
If the antibiotic medication doesnt resolve the infection, a dentist may recommend another procedure to remove the infected tissue, such as a root canal or a tooth extraction.
Make sure to seek medical advice from a healthcare professional if youre not feeling better after a week, or if your symptoms are getting worse.
Using Antibiotics To Treat A Dental Abscess
When are Antibiotics Needed for a Dental Abscess?
Doctors prescribe antibiotics to treat dental abscesses that are causing pain symptoms or swelling. The goal is to get rid of the infection.
If it is only affecting the immediate area of the tooth, you might not need antibiotics. However, antibiotics are necessary if there is any risk of it spreading beyond the affected tooth. Or if you have a weakened immune system for any reason.
Your dentist will also cut and drain the abscess. Then they’ll wash it with saline, an antibacterial agent. A root canal can remove the diseased pulp from within the tooth and save it. Sometimes, you need a tooth extraction if it is unsalvageable.
Antibiotics are only necessary if the abscess is causing pain/swelling or if there is a risk of it spreading.
Which Antibiotics Work Best For a Tooth Infection?
The most effective antibiotic for a tooth infection varies. People are different and react differently to medications.
However, Amoxicillin is one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics for tooth abscesses and infections. It also relieves pain.
Penicillin is an option, but many people are allergic to it. A doctor might prescribe clindamycin for someone allergic to penicillin. Other antibiotics prescribed to people with tooth abscesses include:
- Ampicillin and sulbactam
- Ticarcillin and clavulanate
How Long to Take Antibiotics for an Abscess
The course of treatment for most antibiotics is 10 to 14 days.
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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.
Dangers Of An Unresolved Dental Abscesses
Leaving an abscess untreated will lead to serious medical complications in addition to severe pain. The infection will spread to other parts of your body, including your brain and nearby organs.
A dental abscess infection that travels to the brain is very difficult to treat because of the blood-brain barrier. Its also common for infections to spread into the sinuses.
An infection in your teeth or gums might indicate that you have heart health problems. Researchers believe gum disease is linked to heart disease and heart attack risk.
The infection can also spread to the surrounding bones. Facial bones are especially intolerant to infection. There is a high risk that bone removal will be needed to stop the further spread of the infection.
Even if you have a mild abscess, it can spread and weaken the bones, which creates problems in the future for your teeth.
An untreated abscess also poses a risk for tooth loss. Usually, a root canal and crown are enough to save the affected tooth. However, left untreated, theres a high likelihood your dentist will need to pull the tooth.
One of the most serious issues linked to untreated dental abscesses is . This is an infection in the bloodstream and it puts your entire body at risk.
If the abscess is not treated in time and it ruptures, the infection can spill into your blood and circulate throughout your body. and requires IV antibiotic treatment and long-term hospitalization.
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How To Use Augmentin Oral
Shake the bottle well before each dose. Carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. Take this medication with a meal or snack as directed by the doctor. Depending on your specific product, this medication is usually taken every 8 or 12 hours.
The dosage is based on your age, weight, medical condition, and response to treatment.
For the best effect, take this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time every day.
Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may allow bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection.
Tell the doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
When To See A Healthcare Provider Or Dentist
While any doctor or healthcare provider can prescribe treatments such as antibiotics that will help temporarily, if you experience pain, swelling, tenderness, or other symptoms that you believe may be related to a dental abscess, tooth infection, or injury, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. You want to treat your infection appropriately so that it doesnt spread to other parts of your body or put you at serious risk.
If you experience difficulty breathing or swallowing, develop a fever or swelling under your tongue, or suffer from any other indication that your infection might be spreading to other parts of your body, go to your nearest emergency room. They may not be able to treat your tooth infection , but they can prescribe a course of treatment to ensure that the bacteria in your mouth does not spread to other areas of your body.
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Can An Infected Tooth Be Pulled
Although having a tooth pulled is usually very safe, the procedure can allow harmful bacteria into the bloodstream. Gum tissue is also at risk of infection. If you have a condition that puts you at high risk for developing a severe infection, you may need to take antibiotics before and after the extraction.
What To Do If Antibiotics Don’t Fix Your Dental Abscess
If oral antibiotics do not fix your abscess, . In some cases, you’ll make an appointment to visit your dentist in the coming days.
For others, youll need to visit an emergency dentist for treatment of the infected tooth. This is when IV antibiotics or extraction are needed.
This is also the case when you first notice the abscess. An abscess might not seem severe, but it is a serious medical condition. You can ease the pain with over-the-counter pain relief, but you must see a dentist for immediate attention.
The infection causing the abscess can spread and is potentially fatal if not treated. This is true whether you are just experiencing the first symptoms of an abscess or if youve been taking antibiotics that have not worked.
In addition to seeking emergency dental treatment, youll want to:
- Avoid hot and cold beverages
- Avoid high-sugar and high acidity foods and beverages
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever that is safe for you
- Floss between the affected teeth to prevent food particles from further aggravating the problem
- Sleep with your head elevated
- Rinse with warm salt water two to three times a day
A visit to an emergency dentist is necessary if you have an abscess and cannot see your regular dentist. An abscess can be fatal if left untreated. It is a dental emergency, even if you think you can deal with the pain.
Alternative Treatment Options
Alternative treatments and home remedies for abscesses include:
Take Over-The-Counter Pain Relievers
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How Much Should I Take
Youll likely be prescribed a seven-day course of clindamycin for a tooth infection. On each of those seven days, youll likely need to take a dose every six hours or so.
There may be one or two capsules in a dose. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions provided with your prescription.
You can take clindamycin either before or after eating. Some people experience throat irritation when taking clindamycin, but following the dose with a full glass of water can help you avoid this.
List Of Types And Dosages
Although antibiotics can help clear a tooth infection, it is important to use the appropriate antibiotic in each situation.
The type of antibiotic a dentist recommends will vary depending on the bacteria causing the infection. This is because different antibiotics work in different ways to eliminate different strains of bacteria.
As a study in the Dentistry Journal notes, there are over 150 different strains of bacteria that occur in the mouth. Many of these bacteria have the potential to grow and cause an infection.
Treatment may change depending on the bacteria causing the infection, though much of the time, dentists simply recommend an antibiotic that works against many types.
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What Are Some Recommended Antibiotics For A Tooth Infection
The type of antibiotic youll need depends on the type of bacteria causing the infection. Different classes of antibiotics have different ways of attacking bacteria. Your dentist will want to choose an antibiotic that can effectively eliminate your infection. Antibiotics such as penicillin and amoxicillin are most commonly used to help treat tooth infections. If youre allergic to penicillin be sure to tell your dentist. Erythromycin is an alternative to penicillin and can be prescribed in its place. Information about dosage and how to take the medication will be given to you by your local pharmacist however youll typically need to take antibiotics for about a week.
What Causes A Tooth Infection
Tooth infections are caused by bacteria that makes its way inside the sensitive area under your tooth, called the pulp. This can happen because of tooth decay , gum disease or a cracked tooth. The pulp has soft tissue, nerves and blood vessels. Bacterial infection may cause pus to build in this sensitive area. Symptoms can include:
- Bad tastes in the mouth
A tooth infection should always be treated. A tooth abscess can spread into the soft tissues of your mouth or throat. This can cause a more serious infection and can even interfere with breathing or swallowing.
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How Long Does Ciprofloxacin Take To Work
It may take one to one and a half hours to start the reaction after taking medicine orally. For infection, it will take a few days to go down. It depends on your response to the medicine.
Around 40 to 50% of medicine is excreted unchanged with the urine.
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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Are Antibiotics Required For Implants
Use of antibiotics should be judicious and carefully thought out. Just because you have an infection in your tooth, it does not mean you need an antibiotic. Also, not all infections are actually infections. Not all infections can be cured by antibiotics alone.
In fact if you are allergic to penicillin please click this link. Being allergic to penicillin carries more risk for implants and bone grafting. Amoxicillin is the most common antibiotic for a tooth infection.
Antibiotics are commonly needed for procedures that involved cutting through bone or addition of bone graft materials. There is a limited supply of new blood vessels that can get your natural immune systems protection in the first few days following a significant procedures such as a surgical extraction, a bone graft, sinus graft, apicoectomy and dental implants.
Antibiotics are extremely helpful in many situations. I also discuss common questions such as antibiotic resistance and what happens with common stomach issues and what to do about them.
I think you will find this video helpful. Please feel free to ask questions below.
Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant DentistryFellow-American Academy of Implant DentistryBurbank, California