Infections Inflammation And Antibiotics
The recommended uses for antibiotics are limited almost exclusively to cases of known or suspected bacterial infection, which are always associated with inflammation unless the immune system is severely weakened. The dose and length of antibiotic treatment depends on many factors, including the type of infection the specific bacteria identified and its susceptibility to different antibiotics the patient’s age, body size and kidney function the presence of other medical conditions, such as pregnancy or breastfeeding and the antibiotics biochemical and metabolic properties. An effective antibiotic treatment plan combined with a normal immune response results in the destruction of the infecting bacteria, which, in turn, removes the stimulus for inflammation. As healing begins, the blood vessels shrink, white cells stop moving into the area, chemical signals driving the inflammation are shut off and healthy new tissue starts to grow.
Why Antibiotics Dont Cure Tooth Infections
Antibiotics play a key role in most infections, but when its about teeth, theyre not the entire solution.
With the medical knowledge and technology we have available these days, finding out you have an infection of some kind almost always draws an automatic response: Infection? No problem, Ill just take an antibiotic. For many infections, like sinus infections this can cure the problem. Unfortunately, for dental problems antibiotics take a significantly lesser role. Antibiotics can help ease the symptoms of infection but they cant cure the infection on their own. Infections arising from bacteria inside the teeth arent cured by antibiotic treatment because the do not remove the source.
If your dentist prescribes an antibiotic, its primarily to prevent the infection from spreading until proper treatment is performed to solve the problem. The pain may lessen or temporarily go away, but since antibiotics dont penetrate the abscess very well, the bacteria can linger or return if the cause of the infection isnt addressed. Once the nerve becomes infected, antibiotics take a back seat a root canal treatment is the only way to remove the infected nerve and save the tooth. Thats when an endodontist should enter the picture.
Reasons For A Tooth Extractions
While permanent teeth are supposed to stay intact your whole life, there are conditions that may require a tooth extraction. The most common reason why a tooth needs to be extracted is that it is badly decayed or damaged, due to trauma or decay. We also might recommend extraction if:
Your mouth is overcrowded: We might recommend a dental extraction, if you are about to undergo an orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic treatments are meant to align your teeth, when your teeth are overcrowded or too large for your mouth. Extracting teeth that dont fit in your mouth can help prepare for realignment. We also might recommend extraction for teeth that are stuck under the gumline, but cant erupt due to there not being enough room.
An infection is present. When tooth decay makes its way to the pulp of your tooth and infects the blood vessels in your tooth, it can lead to serious infections. Oftentimes, we will treat this kind of decay with root canal therapy. However, sometimes the infection can be so severe that nothing can cure it, in which case, we will need to extract the infected tooth to keep it from spreading.
There is a risk of infection. Certain medical conditions, like chemotherapy or an organ transplant, can compromise your immune system, increasing the risk of infection in a tooth. If this occurs, we might recommend extracting the tooth beforehand.
Diagnosis Of Ear Infections
Your physician will look into your ear with an otoscope, a medical instrument with a light on one end designed to get a better view inside the ear. Your doctor will look for the visual signs of ear infection, such as redness and inflammation.
To check for fluid buildup, a pneumatic otoscope, which blows air at the eardrum, will be used. If there is excessive fluid behind the eardrum, it will not move as it should when the air hits it.
In some cases, hearing tests may also be performed to assess any damage to the ear from the infection.
Different types of ear infections present with different symptoms, which can include:
- Inner ear infections: Hearing loss, ringing in the ears , dizziness, loss of balance, nausea and vomiting, and ear pain
- Middle ear infections: Fluid in the ear, ear pain, fever, a feeling of general illness, pressure in the ears, and hearing loss
- Outer ear infections: Inflammation of the ear canal, itching in the ear, ear pain, swelling of the ear canal, redness, and fluid draining from the ear
Ear Infection Doctor Discussion Guide
Children with ear infections, especially toddlers or infants, may not be able to describe their symptoms, but an ear infection will often present with the following signs:
- Tugging or pulling at their ears
- Fussing or crying
- Being clumsy and having balance issues
- Trouble hearing or responding to quiet noises
Antibiotics And Achilles Tendons: Which Are Harmful
Since the 1980s, doctors have noticed a link between people taking antibiotics and Achilles tendonitis and rupture. The first antibiotic to be linked to tendonitis is the group known as fluoroquinolones. Some of the common antibiotic names in this group include ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin. Other antibiotics known to increase the risk of tendonitis include clindamycin or azithromycin. Since the first reports many years ago, there have been over 100 cases reported in the medical community.
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Common Toothache Causes And Treatments
When bacteria break down a tooth’s surface, forming a cavity, the inner chamber of the tooth becomes vulnerable. This inner chamber contains the nerves that supply your tooth with sensation. When bacteria reach this chamber, it can be painful and lead to more severe dental problems that may require antibiotic treatment.
There are many causes for a toothache, including cavities, inflamed pulp tissue and dental abscesses, according to Merck Manuals. Having a cavity in a tooth does not necessarily mean that you will need antibiotics. As the Mayo Clinic explains, cavities are often treated with fillings, or possibly crowns, based on how much of the tooth is infected. When a tooth infection reaches the nerve of the tooth, it may require a root canal and a protective cover to seal bacteria out of the tooth. Additionally, if a tooth is so broken down by a cavity that it can’t be repaired, the dentist may need to extract the tooth.
Home Treatment Of Dental Abscesses
Although essential oil of cloves can be used to manage the pain and sensitivity associated with dental abscesses, it will not cure the abscess. Abscesses will not go away on their own and cannot be treated at home. Untreated abscesses can develop secondary infections and other serious complications that are extremely hazardous to health . It is possible for an untreated abscess to become a medical emergency requiring urgent care from a doctor or dentist. It may also lead to jaw bone loss.
Only a qualified medical or dental professional is properly equipped to administer treatment for an abscess safely and effectively. It is strongly advised that people affected by abscesses, or who suspect they may have a dental abscess, seek out the advice of a dentist as soon as they can. It is not safe to try to drain an abscess at home or to leave an abscess untreated.
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.
Antibiotic Resistance Is One Of The Biggest Threats Facing The World Today Antibiotics Work Less Effectively The More Theyre Taken
Youve probably seen in the news over the past few months that, as a nation, we are becoming more resilient towards antibiotics. Our bodies are basically getting used to us taking them, and therefore they arent as effective in treating what theyre supposed to.
Now with teeth, its an entirely different reason as to why were reluctant to hand them over. Obviously, we dont want you to become unresponsive to any antibiotics we give you, but we usually dont like to give them for one reason: Antibiotics dont cure toothache.
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Treatment Of Dental Abscesses
The usual treatment for a dental abscess is to drain pus as soon as it is possible to do so. This will be done surgically, either by a dentist or a maxillofacial surgeon, a surgeon that has trained as a dentist as well as a doctor and handles complex jaw, tooth and mouth conditions. They may make an incision in the gum or drill a hole in the tooth to allow the pus to drain.
Once the pus has drained away, the area will be cleaned. In periapical abscesses, all dead pulpal tissue will be removed to prevent infection recurring. In periodontal abscesses, a very deep cleaning of the teeth and specifically the gum and roots will be done. A root canal may also be necessary if the whole tooth is compromised. If the decay is severe, the tooth may be removed.
Should I Go To The Emergency Room For A Tooth Abscess
However, if the infection has progressed to the point where youre in serious pain or if you are having a constant bad taste in your mouth that is getting worse you need to go to the emergency room or make an emergency dental appointment. If left untreated, your bacterial infection can invade other parts of your body.
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What Are Antibiotics Made Of
The first beta-lactam antibiotic, penicillin, was discovered by accident. It was growing from a blob of mold on a petri dish. Scientists found that a certain type of fungus naturally produced penicillin. Eventually, penicillin was produced in large quantities in a laboratory through fermentation using the fungus.
Some other early antibiotics were produced by bacteria found in ground soil.
Today, all antibiotic medications are produced in a lab. Some are made through a series of chemical reactions that produce the substance used in the medication.
Other antibiotics are at least partially made through a natural but controlled process. This process is often enhanced with certain chemical reactions that can alter the original substance to create a different medication.
Do Antibiotics Actually Work For Tooth Pain
The simple answer is there is really no simple answer. Prescribing antibiotics for toothaches is somewhat of a contentious issue, mainly because first and foremost, the recommended treatment for tooth pain is actually intervention. From your dentists perspective, it will involve examining the tooth, cleaning the gums, removing dead nerves and associated bacteria, or in some cases a dental extraction or root canal treatment.
From a patients perspective, it involves pain control, either with the use of analgesics or other over-the-counter dental treatments that can help relieve some of the symptoms.
Many dentists believe that antibiotics should only be prescribed in worst case scenarios where severe infection has actually spread further from the tooth itself. But lets look at why the over-prescribing of antibiotics is an issue in the first place.
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Why Dont Antibiotics Cure Toothache
A dentist needs to examine your mouth and decide the cause of the pain. Dental treatment may then be needed, such as fillings, root treatment or sometimes extraction of the tooth.Painkillers can help paracetamol and, if you can safely take it, ibuprofen. Both can be bought from pharmacies.Always read the patient information leaflet and check it is safe for you to take either medicine. You can ask your pharmacist for advice.
Antibiotics And Osteoarthritis: What Research Shows
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Itâs a disease that affects most people over the age of 65 to some degree. While the standard treatment is anti-inflammatory medications to relieve the joint pain and stiffness, thereâs some evidence that an antibiotic called doxycycline can slow down the progression of the disease. In a 2005 study published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism, middle-aged overweight women with severe osteoarthritis of a knee took either 100 milligrams of doxycycline twice a day or a placebo pill for 30 months.
The results were encouraging. This group of patients were followed for a full thirty months with x-rays and clinical exams. At 16 months, x-rays showed 40% less arthritis progression in the women who took doxycycline compared to the placebo group. Slowing of disease progression continued to be seen after 30 months on doxycycline.
The discouraging news was that even though there was less joint space narrowing and progression after the doxycycline treatment, the women didnât experience reduced pain, although they were less likely to report increases in joint pain over time.
How do antibiotics help arthritis? Researchers believe that antibiotics suppress enzymes and proteins that cause inflammation. In a sense, antibiotics have anti-inflammatory effects that slow down the progression of the disease.
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Accidentally Taking An Extra Dose
There’s an increased risk of side effects if you take 2 doses closer together than recommended.
Accidentally taking 1 extra dose of your antibiotic is unlikely to cause you any serious harm.
But it will increase your chances of getting side effects, such as pain in your stomach, diarrhoea, and feeling or being sick.
If you accidentally take more than 1 extra dose of your antibiotic, are worried or you get severe side effects, speak to your GP or call NHS 111 as soon as possible.
What Is A Dental Abscess
An abscess is a pocket of pus that forms within body tissues. Abscesses are the result of an infection, generally bacterial, localized in the area where the abscess forms. They are almost always accompanied by swelling and inflammation. Dental abscesses are abscesses affecting the teeth and adjacent jaw tissue.
Each tooth is made up of several layers. The outermost layer is the enamel, which covers a softer layer, the dentin. The dentin and enamel are the toothâs protective layers. Underneath the dentin is the pulp, where the toothâs nerves and blood vessels are situated. The pulp runs down the center of the root of the tooth, which connects the tooth to the underlying bone of the upper or lower jaw. Infections in the pulp can therefore easily spread into the bone of the jaw. Likewise, if the gum around the tooth becomes infected, the tooth is at risk of damage as well. Some abscesses affect the pulp first and spread to the bone, while others affect the surrounding tissues of the gum and do not start in the pulp.
Treatment for dental abscesses involves draining the pus from the tooth and filling or removing the tooth to prevent re-infection.
There are two major subtypes of dental abscess: periapical and periodontal.
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How Can You Prevent A Tooth Infection
To keep a toothache due to infection from happening, be sureto stick to the following steps:
- Floss at least once a day.
- Brush your teeth every morning and every nightwith fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco.
- Visit your dentist twice a year for a checkupand professional cleaning.
- Keep consumption of sugary foods and beveragesto a minimum.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water andchewing sugar-free gum after meals and snacks.
Toothaches are no fun, but by following the steps listedabove, you can keep dental infections at bay. If you have even the slightestpain in your tooth, be sure to see your dentist or doctor right away.
What About Pain Treatment
Until the antibiotic kills all of the infection, you may need a pain reliever. The American Dental Association recommends that pain treatment start with a prescription or over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug , such as:
In some cases, an NSAID may be combined with acetaminophen .
In the past, dental pain was more often treated with prescription opioids, but the ADA notes that NSAIDs have been shown to be more effective for tooth pain. If an opioid is needed, a doctor or dentist will prescribe it at the lowest effective dose for a limited amount of time.
Periodontal Abscesses: Affecting The Gums
Periodontal abscesses are more common among adults than children and are often a complication of gum disease. They tend to originate in the alveolar bone and periodontium. Gum disease or injury can cause teeth to become loose and/or inflamed, including the surrounding area. The resulting pocket that forms between the tissue and the tooth is vulnerable to infection by bacteria which can then form a periodontal abscess.
Can Antibiotics Heal An Infected Root Canal
Oral health plays a vital role in overall health. Poor oral health can lead to many other physical health conditions in addition to gum or tooth problems. When you have tooth pain such as a tooth infection, antibiotics can go a long way in helping to address the infection, but unfortunately, antibiotics cannot completely heal an infected tooth.
Whats more, if youre dealing with an infected root canal, antibiotics really are not going to cut it. In these cases, youll need to have the bacteria removed, either by root canal treatment or tooth extraction, in order for it to heal. Why is that, and more importantly, what can be done to take care of the infection once and for all?
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