Sydney is a contributing health writer and editor who enjoys shedding light on health topics, making information available to anyone who wants it, and ending stigmas or lack of access to care and treatment.
Dr. Aaron Wiegmann
Dr. Wiegmann earned his medical degree (M.D.) from Rush Medical College and completed his General Surgery residency at Rush University Medical Center and Cook County Hospital. He has a Master's Degree (M.S.) in clinical research and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles.
March 17, 2021
Some of the best antibiotics for tooth infections include:
If your toothache or infection is caused by harmful bacteria, these antibiotic options can potentially clear your infection up very quickly and effectively. You will need a prescription from a licensed doctor in order to get antibiotics for a tooth infection though.
Tooth pain can be debilitating. It can prevent you from eating, drinking, speaking, functioning at work, and it can even interrupt your sleep schedule. Surprisingly, not all tooth pain is caused by a lack of brushing and flossing, or even eating too many sweet treats.
There are many things that could be behind the pain. You may be clenching your jaw in your sleep, or you could have a tooth infection.
Yes, doctors prescribe antibiotics for tooth infections often. While sometimes a dentist or oral surgeon is better suited for this task, depending on your dentist and particularly case, they may refer you to a physician.
While the majority of people think of visiting the dentist if they have tooth issues, it doesn’t hurt to first check with your primary care physician. Many healthcare professionals are qualified and able to diagnose a tooth infection and prescribe the necessary meds.
Whether you’re visiting the emergency room, urgent care, or your primary care physician, they’ll be able to help you and prescribe antibiotics for your tooth pain if needed.
In general, a tooth abscess will not go away if left untreated. If the infection hasn’t spread, you may not need antibiotics. If it has, you’ll be prescribed an antibiotic to prevent the infection from spreading further, especially if you have a weakened immune system (diabetes, HIV, chemotherapy, etc.). Often, doctors or dentists will need to drain the pus in order to get rid of the infection.
It’s a good idea to know what exactly a tooth abscess is in order to know how to address it. A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus in or under your tooth, caused by a bacterial infection. Abscesses go by go by different names, depending on where they are located within the tooth. They can also grow in the gums on the side of the tooth’s root.
After that, depending on how bad the infection is, a root canal may be required as well. In extreme cases, the tooth itself will need to be pulled. It’s never a good idea to leave a tooth abscess left untreated, as it can lead to life-threatening complications.
“Dentists prescribe medications for the management of a number of oral conditions, mainly orofacial infections,” according to the National Institute of Health. Drugs like antibiotics are prescribed based on the type of bacteria that caused the infection in the first place – while all antibiotics kill bacteria, some work better than others for certain strains.
Your dentist will know which one to give you – it will likely be penicillin or amoxicillin. It’s not uncommon for patients to be allergic to penicillin. If you are allergic to penicillin, tell your dentist ahead of time. Medical professions often prescribe erythromycin or clindamycin for those who are allergic to penicillin.
Antibiotics are often required to treat tooth infections. Believe it or not, tooth infections can spread to other nearby organs, including your brain. If you’re experiencing extreme tooth pain, make visiting a doctor or dentist a priority. If the pain is unbearable before you can get it treated, there are a few things you can get over-the-counter or do at home to help deal with the discomfort:
The time it takes for the antibiotics to kick in can depend on a number of things. The International Dental Journal did a study, and found that the majority of acute tooth infections will resolve with antibiotics in 3 to 7 days.
On average, you can expect the antibiotics to get rid of the infection by 10 days at the most. If you’re experiencing a more intense case, it could take a few days longer. If your antibiotics don’t seem to be fixing the problem after a week or two, you may want to revisit the doctor.
Here are some of the most commonly used and prescribed antibiotics for tooth infections.
If you have any allergies to any of those medications, you should inform your dentist before your appointment ends. There are plenty of alternative options that work just as well.
Infections in your teeth or gums can be extremely painful. As the antibiotic works to get rid of the bacteria, the tooth pain will eventually subside. If your dentist decides to drain the pus out, a significant amount of the pain may be alleviated then as well. Ask your dentist if there are any interactions between pain relievers and the antibiotic you’re prescribed.
There are a couple natural remedies you can use to stop a tooth infection from spreading further, but there are no “natural antibiotics” for a tooth infection. For starters, consuming certain herbs, foods, or drinks can help stop the spread of bacteria, such as:
You can also rinse your mouth with a mixture of warm water and baking soda to reduce the amount of plaque in your mouth.
While using these natural remedies might help keep your mouth cleaner and less susceptible to future tooth infections, you should always visit a doctor to address tooth pain before it gets more serious.
Thanks to the ever-growing popularity of telehealth, you can visit a doctor virtually about your tooth pain. Through our sister company PlushCare, you can make an appointment with a licensed physician to discuss your tooth infection symptoms.
PlushCare’s doctors are able to write prescriptions for antibiotics for tooth infections once they have deciphered whether or not bacteria is the cause of your tooth pain.
Get antibiotics prescribed from a top online doctor at our sister company PlushCare. EverydayDr and […]
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