Clinical History And Examination
Many oral conditions may mimic tooth pain and it is important to delineate the different causes with history-taking and examination. We suggest the following:
- Identify the source of pain by taking a comprehensive pain history.
- Check for fever and signs of spread .
- Examine the oral cavity .
- Examine the dentition and gums, specifically looking out for dental caries , gingival oedema and abscesses, loose or broken fillings, ill-fitting dentures, and tooth mobility.
- Screen for other possible causes of non-odontogenic pain .
I Have A Swelling What Should I Do
So you phone us up, and we get you an appointment. We will assess the tooth and see why its causing so much pain. If you are in absolute agony with a visible facial swelling, then theres no way were getting anywhere near that tooth, so we will have to prescribe antibiotics. These will help get rid of the swelling and infection thats around your tooth, but it will not fix the hole in your tooth. That will remain until we do a root canal filling, a filling, or extract the tooth. That facial swelling may well return, as the bacteria can still get to the pulp of your tooth and can still cause a reaction.
If the pain is bearable, and you dont have facial swelling, we will most likely send you away to manage it with painkillers until the pain subsides and we can get near you with some local anaesthetic.
The problem with swellings is that they tend to stop our local anaesthetic from working, so even if we did try to numb you up, it would not make your tooth numb enough to actually work on. If we can work on it, then we will, without the need for antibiotics.
What Are The Antibiotics Used In Dentistry
There’s an assortment of antibiotics that dentists regularly prescribe to their patients for this treatment. The most common include:
The most popular is likely penicillin or amoxicillin. It’s not uncommon for some patients to need something stronger or may be allergic to those two. In that case, cephalexin or clindamycin could be prescribed. Azithromycin is helpful when a sinus infection is causing tooth pain. If there’s an infection that’s severe or in a unique location, a combination of antibiotics may be required.
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How Long Should I Take Antibiotics For A Tooth Infection
Typically, antibiotics for a tooth infection are prescribed for one week. Some people may be prescribed a course of antibiotics for longer than a week depending on the severity, type, and location of the infection. Always follow your doctors exact instructions when taking antibiotics.
Patients with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk for spreading of orofacial infections, so antibiotic treatment is highly recommended. Depending on your dosage you may take your antibiotics 2 to 4 times a day.
If you run out of antibiotics and still have a tooth infection, see your doctor or dentist again for follow up care and a prescription refill.
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.
What Is The Best Antibiotic For A Toothache
A toothache caused by infection can be treated in various ways depending on the severity, location, and general health of the patient. In cases of severe infections that can’t be treated by root canal or tooth extraction alone, your dentist may prescribe an antibioticusually amoxicillin, or metronidazole in the case of a penicillin allergy.
Taking Antibiotics For Wisdom Teeth Infections What You Need To Know
The wisdom teeth erupt from the gums anywhere between the ages of 17 and 25. In some individuals, they dont show until many years after that. This is the reason for the teeths unique name, as they come out much later, during which an individual might have already reached adulthood.
Recent studies have shown, however, that human jaws lack the room for wisdom teeth. With smaller jaws, most people only have space for 28 teeth, giving wisdom teeth insufficient space for eruption.
Unfortunately, despite their general lack of importance and the smaller jaw seen in todays population, wisdom teeth still commonly exist in most individuals. However, because of the crowding that occurs in smaller jaws, these sets of wisdom teeth either only partially erupt or remain completely concealed in the gums.
Unable to emerge properly, wisdom teeth can cause significant pain. As they apply pressure to the second molars, they can also push teeth towards the center, thus causing issues with alignment and aesthetics.
Inefficiently erupted wisdom teeth have also been known to cause infection which can be the reason for even more pain. This particular condition is what doctors have come to call pericoronitis an infection of the soft tissues around the teeth, occurring as the wisdom teeth attempt to emerge but end up damaging the gums around it instead.
How do dentists diagnose pericoronitis? How do you treat it? And is there any way to prevent it? Find out here.
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Can You Get Antibiotics For Tooth Infection Over The Counter
No, you cannot get antibiotics for tooth infection over the counter. In order to get antibiotics to help treat a tooth infection, you will need to receive a prescription from a licensed doctor.
PlushCare can help you get antibiotics for tooth infection. You can book a convenient virtual appointment with one of our expert online doctors and discuss your symptoms. If the physician determines that you need antibiotics to treat your tooth infection, a prescription will then be electronically sent for you to pick up at a nearby pharmacy of your choice.
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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Antibiotics For Tooth Pain: When Are They Needed
The most common cause of toothache or tooth pain is an infected tooth. The pulp of the tooth is found at the inner portion of a tooth, protected by the hard bony outer layers . The pulp contains the soft connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. When the enamel is damaged because of cavities, or a broken tooth, bacteria can enter into the pulp. This can lead to heat, cold, or pressure causing intense pain. Once the pulp gets infected, the pain can become constant and can even spread to the whole side of the face or cause headaches.
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What to do if you feel worse after visiting us:
Contact us or call 111 if any of the following occur:
If you develop a fever over 102F
You develop redness and swelling of your face, jaw or neck
If you are unable to open your mouth
You have severe pain uncontrolled by pain medicine
You have difficulty swallowing
If you do have any problems at present that you know need addressing, please call us today. It might save you from needing antibiotics!
Read more about antibiotics on the NHS website
For an emergency appointment with us,
Other Pain Relief Options
You have other options for relieving tooth pain until you can see your dentist. You can use these along with or instead of OTC pain relievers.
- Avoid very cold or hot foods and drinks, as well as those that have a lot of sugar or acid .
- Floss around the affected teeth to remove any food particles that may be irritating them.
- Elevate your head while you sleep. This can relieve some pressure that may add to your pain.
- Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater.
- For some types of toothaches, you may get relief from applying clove oil.
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.
How To Prevent Antibiotic Resistance
Some dentists frequently prescribe antibiotics to their patients, even for diseases that can’t be treated with antibiotics.
To stop the spread of drug-resistant bacterial strains, dentists should only prescribe antibiotics to control known local infections, and not just when some inflammation is visible. Additionally, prophylactic use should be limited and only in cases when there are infections.
Patients also have a role to play to stop antibiotic resistance. A couple of things patients should do include:
- Ask questions: Ask your dentist or doctor about the antibiotics they are giving you and why you need it for your treatment.
- Don’t demand antibiotics: Never demand antibiotics from your doctor if they say they aren’t necessary.
- Don’t use old antibiotics: Don’t share or use old or leftover antibiotics only take them when prescribed by your doctor.
In the video below, Dr. Tamisha Denis talks all about the dental antibiotics for tooth infection and in dentistry, including when they should be prescribed, and when they shouldn’t.
Are There Effective Home Remedies That Treat Tooth Infections
While there are no home remedies for a tooth infection, your dentist or healthcare provider may suggest that you use home remedies such as the below in addition to their recommended treatment plan to ease your symptoms:
- Rinsing your mouth with saltwater, swishing with a baking soda solution, or using hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash may help kill bacteria and promote healthy gums.
- Applying a cold compress to the infected part of your face may reduce pain and swelling.
- Over-the-counter tooth pain gels, clove oil, and pain medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen may help relieve pain.
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When Does A Toothache Require Antibiotics
When the dental infection is severe or impacts the gum around an erupting tooth, your dentist may recommend antibiotics. For instance, pericoronitis is an infection in the gum tissue that can develop around impacted wisdom teeth, as Merck Manuals explains. Patients with this condition may be given antibiotics as part of their treatment.
Additionally, if your dentist notices signs of a dental abscess a tooth infection that can develop from an untreated cavity, they may recommend antibiotics.
Antibiotic Therapy Risks And Side Effects
Before to take any medication, you should always talk to your doctor or dentist in order to avoid any unpleasant or dangerous side effect. This is an important precaution especially in case of pregnancy dental infection, while breastfeeding or in any other condition that requires you to take different drugs at the same time.
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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.
Are Antibiotics For Toothaches Effective
Dental pain and toothache are common problems and can arise from a number of issues including progressive decay, nerve damage or mouth trauma. When tissues around the end of a tooths root become inflamed and arent treated, they can become infected and lead to acute pain.So its an obvious solution that you should see your dentist as soon as pain occurs, however, should you be prescribed antibiotics for toothaches? Lets look at some of the debate around the issue.
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Complications Secondary To Pericoronitis
Is it possible for pericoronitis to compound and become life-threatening? In theory, it is possible. Any infection that occurs inside the oral cavity can be much harder to resolve because the mouth is a breeding ground for bacterial proliferation. It is also because of this that wounds in the oral cavity take much longer to heal.
When pericoronitis isnt properly addressed, or when the individual doesnt respond to antibiotic treatment, its possible for an infection to spread to other parts of the body. As there are quite a number of blood vessels in the oral cavity, its not impossible for an infection to transfer to the blood.
Infected blood that circulates the system is known as a life-threatening condition. When infectious material makes it way to the different organs of your system, your body can surrender and undergo septic shock.
Proper treatment of the initial infection should help prevent these complications. Its also important to keep a close eye on the infection to detect whether or not its responding well to treatment. If not, urgently seeking the advice of a health professional is imperative in order to formulate a solution that will work for your case.
A Toothache That Is Worse After An Antibiotic
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians , dental emergencies are extremely common and cause missed time at work and school 1. Most emergencies are the result of a severe toothache. Analgesics and antibiotics are frequently prescribed to relieve the pain. A toothache that is worse after an antibiotic has been prescribed may be distressing, but it is a definite possibility.
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When Do Dentists Still Use Antibiotics For Tooth Pain
There are some circumstances when antibiotics for toothaches are not only effective but necessary. Of course, these depend on individual circumstances, but they can include:
- Fever and acute, painful teeth or gum infections that cause considerable swelling of the nearby area .
- Acute, painful infections and tissue swelling around an impacted wisdom tooth, particularly when associated with severe pain and the impairment of normal jaw functioning.
- Post-operative secondary infections following surgical procedures including the extraction of teeth. These dont automatically put you at risk of infection, but in a small number of patients, altered healing can lead to an infection of the vulnerable site.
- Tooth or gum infections that have progressed to the stage where theyve caused facial cellulitis, which is a swelling of the neck, face and eye area, which sometimes even obstructs the airways. This type of antibiotic treatment would require an immediate referral to an emergency department!
Tooth Infection Treatment: Are Antibiotics The Best Option
A tooth infection, sometimes called a dental infection or a dental abscess, is a condition that occurs when bacteria enter a damaged tooth or the gums around it. The bacterial infection triggers an immune system response, which leads to swelling, inflammation, or pus, a thick fluid of dead tissue, bacteria, and white blood cells. If the condition progresses, pus can accumulate within the infected area, forming an abscess or pocket of pus near the affected tooth or teeth.
Dental infection symptoms vary according to the severity of the infection and may include throbbing or persistent tooth pain, fever, sensitivity to hot or cold food, bad breath, a discolored tooth, difficulty swallowing, or swelling in your jaw, neck, cheeks, or gums. Although modern dentistry and oral health practices have made most dental infections less concerning than they once were, the condition can become serious and even life-threatening if left untreated.
If you believe you have a tooth abscess, seek treatment right away. Some infections may require a procedure to drain pus, fill a cavity, or remove an infected tooth, and some, but not all, infections may benefit from antibiotics. In rare cases, severe infections may require intravenous antibiotics or surgery. Your dentist or healthcare professional may also recommend over-the-counter medications to help manage any pain.
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