If you are dealing with a dental abscess or tooth infection, antibiotics are the medication to calm down the pain and fight bacteria. The most common and best antibiotics for tooth infection are: amoxicillin, clindamycin and metronidazole. Since the listed drugs need 1 or 2 days to take effect, in the meantime, over the counter painkillers like ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen can relieve your discomfort.
Due to caries or accidents that expose the tooth root, bacteria in dental plaque can reach the inner part of the tooth, called pup. Once there, the infection destroys all nerves, cells and blood vessels. It is in this fase of the abscess that patients feel a lot of pain because nerves are attacked.
When the nerves of the tooth are dead, the pain decreases significantly, but it is only a temporary pause, while the infection spreads externally around the tip of the root of the dental element. Our immune system is activated and tries to limit the spread of infection.
It is in this particular step that antibiotics are needed to boost the immune system action and to treat tooth infection or dental abscess.
What are the best antibiotics for dental abscess ?
This is “the million dollar question” simply because we are not all the same. There also are people with allergy to specific medications and, last but not least, we have to take into account what’s called bacteria with antibiotic resistance.
Statistics based on patients report reveals that amoxicillin works very good as pain reliever and as infections fighter.
Clindamycin is a valid alternative antibiotic for those allergic to penicillin. This antibiotic is effective on anaerobic bacteria but it doesn’t come without down sides. In fact, Clindamycin is a major risk factor for C. difficile colitis.
- Amoxicillin (Augmentin);
- Ampicillin and sulbactam (Unasyn);
- Clindamycin (Cleocin);
- Erythromycin (EES, E-Mycin, Ery-Tab)
- Metronidazole (Flagyl);
- Penicillin VK (Veetids)
- Ticarcillin and clavulanate (Timentin)
Antibiotic therapy and coverage for dental infection treatment
#1 step: Pre-treatment fase
Amoxicillin, clindamycin or other antibiotics for tooth infection are prescribed by the dentist before to start the dental treatment. The scope of the pre-treatment is fighting abscess symptoms such as: swelling, toothache, swollen lymph nodes, ear or jaw pain.
#2 step: antibiotic coverage during the endodontic procedure
The most conventional therapy in case of dental abscess requires two different procedures. First the dentist has to drain the bump to allow the pus to come out. To do that, your doctor will puncture the boil containing the yellowish fluid and press it gently to get it all out. As soon as the pus starts to exit, you will feel immediately.
The second step has the scope to remove all the infected material from within the dental element. The clinician will use surgical instruments like files and reamers to clean and shape the root canal. At this point, antibiotics for abscess avoid that additional bacteria contaminate the surgical area.
#3 step: recovering and healing time
In the next 3 or 5 days after the endodontic surgery, antibiotics for abscess (amoxicillin, metronidazole, etc.) ensure that bacteria do not affect other teeth or other parts of the body through your bloodstream.
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, breastfeeding or any other condition that requires you to take different drugs at the same time.
Precaution: probiotics and lactic acid bacteria
Antibiotics are serious drugs so when the dentist or the doctor prescribe them, it is not recommended to stop the round even if symptoms disappear. In addition, these type of medication are well known for causing changes within the intestinal flora. Clinicians often suggest to add probiotics while the antibiotic therapy and lactic acid bacteria after it. The scope is to restore the correct intestinal ecosystem.