Book an appointment Feather-communication-phone
antibiotics-for-tooth-infection

Blog Antibiotics

Antibiotics For Tooth Infection

writtenByWritten by: Dr. Umer Khan
Dr. Umer Khan

Dr. Umer Khan

Medically reviewed by Dr Umer Khan, MD who is a Board Certified physician practicing in Pennsylvania. His special interests include wellness, longevity and medical IT.

Read more posts by this author.

January 12, 2021 Read Time - 4 minutes

Do You Need Antibiotics for a Toothache?

If your pain is caused by an infection, the answer is likely yes, with follow up care by a dentist as well. 

Without antibiotic treatment, an infection that starts in a tooth can travel throughout your body with potentially life-threatening consequences, such as infection of the head, neck, or brain.

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

PlushCare-App-Steps

Best Antibiotic for Tooth Infection

Which antibiotic is used for a tooth infection depends on the type of bacteria causing the infection and whether you’re allergic to any antibiotics.

Common antibiotics prescribed for tooth infections include:

  • Penicillin is the most common antibiotic for tooth infections. Depending on the type of bacteria and location of the infection, penicillin alone may not be effective. It is commonly prescribed alongside another antibiotic, such as Flagyl.
  • Amoxicillin is often given to adult patients with mild tooth infections that don’t display signs of sepsis.
  • Clindamycin is usually given to penicillin allergic patients.

Remember, even if you start to feel better, you must always take the full course of antibiotic prescribed to you. Despite improved symptoms, failing to take all of your antibiotics could allow for the development of antibiotic resistance and the reemergence of a much worse infection.

Why Should You Treat a Bacterial Tooth Infection With Antibiotics?

Any infection that is in your head or neck, such as a tooth infection, should be taken very seriously. This is because the infection may spread to your brain–a potentially life threatening condition.

Bacterial infections are unlikely to go away on their own. Most oral bacterial infections need antibiotic treatment to fight off the infection. Without antibiotics for a tooth infection, you risk allowing the infection to spread.

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 doctor’s 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.

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

PlushCare-App-Steps

When To Skip Antibiotics For Tooth Infection

In some cases, antibiotics may not be necessary. There are three common situations where this applies:

  • The infected tooth is completely removed
  • A root canal is performed on the infected tooth
  • You have an abscess that your dentist is able to drain completely

Some folks look for antibiotics for tooth infections over the counter. However, antibiotics cannot be taken without a doctor’s prescription. If you believe you have a tooth infection, make an appointment today.

Tooth Infection Causes

There are many potential causes of tooth infections. The 3 most common causes of tooth infections are:

  • Tooth Decay
  • Dental work
  • Injuries

Plaque formation plays a very important role in the development of dental cavities and tooth infection. Plaque is a collection of bacteria that sticks to the surface of the tooth.

Oral hygiene, diet, and genetic predisposition are also risk factors of tooth infection.

If you have a tooth that is decaying or an untreated cavity and you are experiencing pain, you may have an infection and should seek treatment.

Additionally, if you have recently had dental work or an injury to the mouth and are experiencing tooth pain, it’s likely you have a tooth infection and require treatment.

Tooth Infection Symptoms

Given the potential complications of tooth infections, it is very important to recognize the symptoms so you know when to seek treatment.

Symptoms typically associated with a tooth infection include:

  • Tooth discoloration
  • Pain when eating or pressing on tooth
  • Throbbing pain in tooth
  • Swollen gums that are infected with pus
  • Foul breath
  • Gum Discoloration
  • Hot or cold sensitivity
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes or jaw
  • Pain in the jaw

Health tooth vs. tooth infection.

If you are experiencing the symptoms above, contact a doctor or dentist for a treatment plan.

According to David Erazo and David Whetstone in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “It is estimated that 13% of adults seek dental care for dental infection or toothache within four years…”

If you think you may be suffering from a tooth infection, book an appointment to speak with a PlushCare doctor and get antibiotics online. Our virtual appointments make it easy for you to speak with a top doctor and get the prescription you need.


Read More About Antibiotics For Tooth Infection


Sources:

PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Dental Infections. Accessed on December 23, 2020 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK542165/

mayoclinic.org. Tooth Abscess. Accessed on December 23, 2020 at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tooth-abscess/symptoms-causes/syc-20350901

aae.org. Abscessed Tooth. Accessed on January 27, 2021 at https://www.aae.org/patients/dental-symptoms/abscessed-teeth/

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

Our commitment to you.

PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

  • right Tick Image

    Research from sources you can trust

  • right Tick Image

    Medical reviews by field experts

  • right Tick Image

    Frequent content updates

More to learn.

Can You Get a Ceftin Prescription Online?

Can You Get a Ceftin Prescription Online?

Can You Get a Ceftin Prescription Online? Going to your doctor’s office when you know you just need an antibiotic…

Jennifer Nelson 5 minutes
Sinus Infection Remedy

Sinus Infection Remedy

Sinus Infection Remedy Sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is one of the most common illnesses in America, affecting nearly…

Jillian Stenzel 5 minutes
Can You Get a Cefdinir Prescription Online?

Can You Get a Cefdinir Prescription Online?

Can You Get a Cefdinir Prescription Online? Do you need an antibiotic? If you have a pretty good idea of…

Jennifer Nelson 5 minutes