Indications For Antibiotic Use
Antibiotics should only be used for oral infections where there is evidence of spreading infection or systemic involvement , and where drainage or debridement is impossible. There are a limited number of localized oral lesions that are indicated for antibiotic use and these include periodontal abscess, acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis, and pericoronitis. A periapical abscess responds well to antibiotics if chewing gum is used during the first two half-lives of each dose .
Another condition in which antibiotics are indicated is staphylococcal mucositis and it is mostly found in immunocompromised patients and the elderly. Patients will experience oral discomfort, mucosal inflammation and mucosal bleeding. The common treatment for this type of infection is oral lavages and flucloxacillin.
Tooth Infection Treatment: Whatre Your Options
To treat a tooth abscess, your dentist will perform an exam and often take an x-ray to locate your infection and determine its severity and whether it has spread. Based on these findings, treatment options may include:
- Draining the abscess:Your dentist or healthcare provider will administer a local anesthetic and then create an incision in the abscess to drain the pus.
- Performing a root canal treatment:Your dentist will administer an anesthetic and then drill into your infected tooth to remove the pus collected in its interior. After they clean the area, they will fill, seal, and cap the tooth to complete the root canal procedure and ensure that no more bacteria can enter.
- Extracting the tooth:Your dentist may recommend extracting a tooth if it is too damaged to save. Once they pull your tooth, they will drain the area of any remaining pus to treat the abscess and relieve your pain.
In most cases, the American Dental Association recommends that dentists treat abscesses and other causes of dental pain with appropriate dental procedures and pain relievers, not antibiotics.
To manage your pain, your dentist may suggest taking over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen , acetaminophen , or naproxen before or after your dental procedure.
Who Needs Antibiotics Before Dental Work
Most patients don’t require antibiotics before dental work. Immune systems are more than capable of handling these bacteria, but there are some people who may need antibiotics after oral surgery. This may include those have had or have:
- Heart conditions, including congenital heart defects and disease
- An artificial heart valve
- Knee or hip replacement surgery
- Infective endocarditis
Always make sure to share your full medical history with your doctor before surgery or dental work, even if you think it’s not relevant, so they know if they need to prescribe antibiotics before or after dental work.
Which Antibiotics To Buy
Not all antibiotics will work against bacteria and will be effective. Sometimes you dont even need antibiotics for the infection. Thats why you should always consult a good professional dentist before taking any antibiotics.
- After the examination, your dentist will let you know if you need antibiotics, depending on the severity of the infection.
- He will recommend you the type of antibiotics based on bacteria.
- You should only buy antibiotics that your dentist or a health professional has recommended. Never take antibiotics without a professional opinion because taking unprescribed antibiotics can most swell the infection.
- Almost all antibiotics have some side effects depending upon their type. You might even be allergic to some medicines and unaware of them. So getting some unprescribed antibiotics can contribute to the overgrowth of bacteria and antibiotic resistance.
- Bacteria develop resistance to some antibiotics making the infection more stern and tough to treat. So please never choose your antibiotic without the consultancy of a medical professional
How Long Does It Take To Work
If you have tooth infections, you are in pain and have any swelling. You went to the dentist for an antibiotics recommendation, and they have recommended you an antibiotic. The first question you will ask them will be, how long will it take to work to reduce the swelling of tooth infection. It depends on a few factors like the severity of tooth infection, how effective they are against bacteria, and which medicine potency you are taking. It may take a few days to feel well, so be patient. The most important thing is to complete the course of antibiotics and doesnt stop before your dentist suggest you because in most cases, when patient feel a little bit better, they stop taking get, but it will undo the whole progress.
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What Is A Tooth Infection
A tooth infection or dental abscess occurs when a bacterial infection enters a damaged tooth or gum tissue and begins to multiply.
As the immune system responds to fight the bacteria, white blood cells cause swelling and a natural byproduct called pus builds up at the infection site. If the pus is unable to drain naturally, a pocket of pus develops at the area.
Dental infections are polymicrobial, meaning theyre caused by multiple types of bacteria rather than by a single bacterium. You can develop three major types of dental infections:
- Periodontal abscess: When an injury or gum disease allows bacteria to enter and infect the bone and tissue structures that support a tooth.
- Periapical abscess: When an injury, previous dental work, or untreated tooth decay allows bacteria to enter and infect the soft pulp inside of a tooth.
- Gingival abscess: When an injury or sharp piece of food pierces the gum tissue and allows bacteria to enter and infect the gums.
Its essential to seek medical advice if you have a painful toothache or believe you have an abscess. If left untreated, your tooth infection can spread to other parts of the body, leading to life-threatening complications.
The best way to prevent dental infections is to maintain good oral hygiene, schedule regular checkups with a dentist, avoid high-sugar foods, and abstain from smoking.
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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Will I Need Antibiotics After Oral Surgery
Most people don’t need antibiotics after oral surgery. There are some cases when your dentist may recommend themfor example, if you have some heart conditions or cirrhosis of the liver.
A dentist may also prescribe antibiotics for individuals with a history of infective endocarditis or a weakened immune system.
How To Get Antibiotics For A Tooth Infection
You can get antibiotics for a tooth infection from your dentist or doctor, although dentists are preferable due to their experience with tooth infections. Antibiotics are not available over the counter you must have a doctor’s prescription.
Depending on your condition, you may be able to get prescriptions through an online dental consultation.
If you have antibiotics leftover in your medicine cabinet from an old infection, you should not use them. To properly dispose of your antibiotics, take them to your nearest pharmacy.
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Legal And Contractual Obligations
- Before refusing to treat a patient asking for emergency dental treatment, the GP must ascertain that the condition requires only dental treatment.
- Primary care teams must judge the nature of the patients condition by undertaking reasonable enquiries and, where appropriate, a clinical assessment.
- Having established an apparent dental problem, GPs or practice teams should direct the patient to a dentist or local emergency service, or refer them to secondary care.
- Everyone in the practice team must do their best to ensure the patient doesnt need the attention of a GP when signposting.
- If the patient has no usual dentist or there is no response from the usual dentist, the patient should contact NHS 111 , NHS 24 , NHS Direct or local dental helplines or the Health and Social Care Board .
- Patients presenting with signs of spreading infection or systemic involvement of a dental infection should be referred immediately to secondary care for appropriate surgical management.
- The GPs obligation to refer is set out in the GMS and PMS regulations.
Antibiotics For Tooth Infection
If your dentist suspects that your infection has spread or is at risk of spreading to other parts of your body, they may prescribe a course of antibiotics to keep you from developing a more severe and system-wide infection.
The antibiotics prescribed depend on the specifics of the bacterial infection, including the kind of bacteria present, the severity of the infection, and any allergic reactions you may have to medication. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics include:
No matter which antibiotic your doctor prescribes, its crucial to take the full course of medication precisely as directed, even if you begin to feel better. If you stop taking your medicine early or skip a dosage, you may end up creating a drug-resistant infection that will be harder to treat.
Although some natural and alternative remedies may provide some relief for discomfort, none have been proved to be safe and effective for the treatment of dental infections. If you believe you have a dental infection, seek medical care from a professional rather than trying home remedies, as these infections can spread and, in some cases, become life-threatening.
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Deterrence And Patient Education
Patients should receive counseling on proper dental hygiene to prevent dental infections. Educating patients and the public on the importance of daily toothbrushing, flossing, and reduction of sugar-containing foods can reduce dental cavities. A dentist should assess patients that are experiencing dentalgia.
Can An Abscessed Tooth Be Prevented
You can reduce the risk of developing a tooth abscess by seeing your dentist routinely and getting regular dental exams and cleanings. Its also important to see your dentist if a tooth becomes loose or chipped. Oral hygiene is very important for dental health. At home, brush teeth twice a day and floss once a day.
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Can You Treat A Tooth Infection Without Antibiotics
There are ways to relieve the pain and swelling associated with your infected tooth. Saltwater rinses with or without baking soda, hydrogen peroxide rinses, and cold compresses can all help with these symptoms. See a dentist right away if you have any symptoms, because an infection is unlikely to go away without treatment.
A cavity can be filled, and pulpitis can also be treated with a dental procedure. You may not need antibiotics. But depending on how bad the infection is, you might need a root canal or removal of the tooth.
If you have an abscess, it needs to be drained. Your dentist will probably also prescribe antibiotics to get rid of any bacteria that are still in the area.
How Is An Abscessed Tooth Treated
Goals of treatment are to eliminate the infection and prevent complications. Treatment options include:
- Incision and drainage: Your dentist makes a small incision in the abscess to drain the pus. Sometimes a small rubber drain is placed to keep the area open for drainage.
- Root canal: This option helps to eliminate the infection and save your tooth. This common procedure removes the tooths infected inner pulp, and fills the space with material to prevent another infection. The inner pulp is important when the tooth is growing but once its mature, the tooth can survive without the pulp. After the procedure, your tooth should be back to normal, though you may need a crown to protect the root canal. If you care for the restored tooth properly, it can last a lifetime.
- Tooth extraction: Sometimes the tooth cannot be saved, and your dentist may need to pull or extract the tooth allowing pus to drain from the socket.
- Antibiotics: If the infection is limited to the abscessed area, you many not require antibiotics, but sometimes your dentist may recommend them to assist with your dental treatment. It is important to know, that while this medication may help fight off remaining bacteria, it will not get rid of the cause of the infection, which is the affected tooth.
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How Long Does It Take For Antibiotics To Work For A 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.
Dental Trauma And Infection
If your older child’s teeth become dislodged due to trauma, the dentist may prescribe tetracycline.
However, tetracycline can cause permanent tooth discoloring when a child’s dentin is still being formed, also called tetracycline teeth, so children under 12 will be prescribed something else in most cases, like penicillin V or amoxicillin. Topical antibiotics may also be used to help with gum healing.
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Who Gets Tooth Infections
Youre more likely to develop tooth infections if you:
- Smoke: Smokers are about twice as likely to get tooth infections as nonsmokers.
- Have dry mouth: Bacteria thrive in a mouth with a low amount of saliva.
- Have poor dental hygiene: Regularly brushing, flossing and getting dental cleanings reduces bacteria.
- Have a weakened immune system: Diseases or medications can lower your immune response, making it harder to fight off germs.
Tooth Infection Medical Treatment
If you have an abscessed tooth, your dentist may recommend one of the following treatments, depending on how serious the abscess is:
- If you have a simple abscess, your dentist, or a specialist called an endodontist, can do a root canal to get rid of the infection and hopefully save the tooth.
- If the abscess is large, it may need to be drained first before a root canal is done. Your dentist or endodontist will make a small cut in the gum to let the pus out and then rinse the area with saline . They also may put in a small rubber drain to keep the area open and draining while the swelling goes down.
- After the tooth is sealed back up, your dentist can then put on a cap, or crown, as a top layer to protect the tooth and make sure you donât get another abscess.
- If your tooth canât be saved, your dentist might need to pull it, then drain the abscess to get rid of the infection.
Your dentist also might give you antibiotics to make sure the infection doesnât spread to other teeth or other parts of your body. The most common ones used for an abscess include:
How much you take and for how long will depend on the type of antibiotic and your specific situation. But itâs always important to take them exactly as your doctor prescribes.
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Other Uses For Antibiotics In Dentistry
If your dentist detects signs of an acute or chronic infection in your mouth, particularly when accompanied by fever, swelling or other signs, you may be prescribed antibiotics. Tooth infections occur when bacteria enter a tooths root, causing pain, tissue death and buildup of pus. Called an abscess or abscessed tooth, this kind of infection can spread to other areas of the head. Treatments for abscesses can include antibiotics, root canals and tooth extractions. Periodontal disease can also lead to serious gum abscesses.
Antibiotic prophylaxis before typical periodontal, third molar or other surgeries is usually not necessary. Depending on your personal medical history, however, you may still be a candidate for premedication. For example, antibiotic prophylaxis might be useful for patients undergoing invasive dental procedures, who also have compromised immune systems, due to, for instance, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, chemotherapy and chronic steroid use.
Finally, always provide your dentist or physician with a complete medical history and discuss whether antibiotic prophylaxis before dental treatment is right for you. Also, remember that brushing, flossing, good diet and visiting your dentist regularly help maintain good oral health, prevent tooth and gum infections, and avert the need for more aggressive dental procedures and medications.
Other Treatment Options For Tooth Infection
Clindamycin is not the only antibiotic that can be used to treat a tooth infection.
The common first choice for dental infections is penicillin, which can treat everything from urinary tract infections to skin infections to chest infections, or amoxicillin, another penicillin-based antibiotic.
Both of these drugs can be good options if you have a tooth infection, but not if youre one of the estimated 10% of the population who has a penicillin allergy or intolerance .
Anyone who has demonstrated an intolerance to penicillin, including rashes, hives, fever, swelling, shortness of breath, or anaphylaxis, should look to solve their tooth infection with clindamycin or another non-penicillin-based antibiotic instead.
Another potential antibiotic to help cure a tooth infection is cephalexin, also among the most commonly-used antibiotics in the world. It is generally effective against infections, particularly on the skin and in the urinary tract, but also carries the same risks for patients with an intolerance of penicillin.
Its important to remember that antibiotics, while helpful at preventing worsening of a tooth infection, are rarely the definitive treatment.
Anyone who has a dental infection needs to be evaluated by a dentist as soon as possible to determine whether a procedure such as pulling the tooth, filling the tooth, or draining an abscess is necessary.
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