In many cases, antibiotics are needed for up to 2 weeks. However, if you experience no relief at all within 2 to 3 days of beginning antibiotics, contact your dentist.
Tooth infection and abscessed teeth generally occur due to tooth decay and bad oral hygiene. However, it can develop due to past dental work.
An infection causes a pocket of pus to form in the mouth due to an excess of bacteria. This infection often causes swelling and sensitivity in the area. Without any treatment, the infection may spread to other areas of the jaw or brain.
Dental decay and cavities are so common. Up to 90% of adults ages 20–64 have cavities. Also, about 27% of people in the same age group have untreated tooth decay. Therefore, treating tooth decay is essential to prevent complications such as tooth infections.
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Use antibiotics for a tooth infection
Dentists will only recommend antibiotics in dentistry for tooth infections. However, not all infected teeth need antibiotics.
In unusual cases, a dentist may drain the infected area, remove the infected tooth, either perform a root canal to fix the issue.
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Types and dosages
Antibiotics can help clear a tooth infection. Using the appropriate antibiotic in any situation is essential.
The antibiotic a dentist will vary depending on the bacteria causing the infection. It is because different antibiotics work in different ways to kill different strains of bacteria.
Penicillin-type drugs are forms of antibiotics for tooth infections. This includes amoxicillin and penicillin. Some dentists also recommend amoxicillin with clavulanic acid, as the combination helps eliminate stubborn bacteria.
Standard amoxicillin dosages for tooth infection are 500 milligrams every 8 hours or 1,000 milligrams every 12 hours.
Amoxicillin dosages with clavulanic acid are around 500–2,000 milligrams every 8 hours or 2,000 milligrams every 12 hours, depending on the minimum efficient dosage.
Clindamycin is effective against infectious bacteria. Therefore, some researchers recommend clindamycin as the drug of choice to treat dental infections, as bacteria are less likely to continue this drug than penicillin-class drugs.
A clindamycin dosage is 300 mg or 600 mg every 8 hours, depending on which dosage will be effective.
Azithromycin works against bacteria, working to reduce their growth. It effectively treats tooth infections, though dentists may recommend it to people allergic to penicillin-class drugs or who don’t respond to them or other drugs such as clindamycin.
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The dosage of azithromycin is 500 milligrams every 24 hours for three consecutive days.
How long do they take to work?
How long an antibiotic takes to work depending on factors, such as the severity of the infection and how completely the drug reduces the infectious bacteria.
People need to complete a full round of antibiotics, taking all the prescribed medication, specifically how the dentist says to take it. Although a person may begin to notice that their symptoms go away after a few doses, completing the whole round of antibiotics helps prevent the infection from coming back or getting more powerful.
Antibiotics can help clear up infections to prepare a person for dental work, and these drugs do have some possible side effects.
The side effects can change with each type of drug. Therefore, it is essential to discuss the possible side effects of taking a drug with a doctor before moving forward with that treatment.
Antibiotics help clear the current tooth infection, but the tooth will need to keep the infection at bay.
This means undergoing one or more procedures in the area, such as:
- Draining the abscess
- Extracting the tooth
- Performing a root canal
- Filling in any cavities
Antibiotic treatment for a tooth infection is part of the solution. However, in reality, tooth infections require work on the tooth itself to clear up entirely.
OTC remedies may help people control the symptoms of their infection. These OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol).
There are some essential practices a person can try at home to help calm symptoms, such as:
- Gently rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater and baking soda in water.
- Avoiding hot or cold foods to prevent sensitivity.
- Brushing with a soft toothbrush around the sensitive area.
Adopting oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing every day and seeing a dentist for checkups, helps prevent tooth infections and complications.
How to get rid of abscess on gum?
A gum abscess is an infection in the gums or the area between the teeth.
Antibiotic medications are a crucial part of the standard treatment process for a gum abscess.
Oral antibiotics kill the bacteria causing the infection and keep the infection from spreading or reinfecting the area. This also reduces swelling or pain in the area.
Antibiotics are not a replacement for dental work, however, and they will not cure the abscess.
Prompt treatment is vital to keep the infection from spreading. Some home remedies may help keep swelling down or ease the pain while taking antibiotics and preparing for the dental procedure.
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