Tooth infection treatment available online today

In order to treat your tooth infection, consult with one of our board-certified doctors online today to learn how to help your pain, swelling, or bad breath. Get a new prescription to treat a tooth infection if needed today.*

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Personalized treatment plans for tooth infections

Top-tier care from the comfort of home

Manage tooth aches and pains

*Prescriptions are provided at the doctor’s discretion. Learn more about our controlled substances policy and how you can save up to 80% with our prescription discount card. PlushCare doctors cannot treat all cases of tooth infections. Our primary care physicians can conduct an initial evaluation of your symptoms but may need to refer you to a specialist or for in-person treatment. If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Learn about tooth infections

The mouth is a dynamic place that gets constant exposure to the external environment. There are bacteria that reside in the mouth and they are able to grow on the food residue and moisture in our mouth. Lack of regular cleaning can make the mouth a conducive place for bacteria to colonize, grow, and cause bacterial infection.

  • Dental caries/cavities

  • Gingivitis

  • Periodontal disease

Tooth infection causes

Conditions that create an opening for bacteria to get into the tooth itself or surrounding tissues are potential causes of tooth infections. A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus that is caused by a bacterial infection. Oral hygiene, diet, and genetic predisposition are also risk factors for tooth infection. The 3 most common causes of tooth infections are:

  • Tooth decay

    Destruction of the tooth enamel generates openings for the bacteria to move deeper into the tooth and cause periapical abscess. 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, promoting tooth decay.

  • Periodontitis/gum disease

    Inflammation of the gums surrounding the tooth, causing periodontal abscess.

  • Injuries to tooth

    A broken or chipped tooth provides direct access for the bacteria to migrate deeper into the tooth, causing dental abscesses.

Tooth infection symptoms

  • One obvious symptom of tooth infection is tooth pain with the following possible characteristics:

    • Sharp

    • Throbbing

    • Persistent

    • Can travel to the surrounding bone (e.g. jaw), neck, and even ear

    Additional symptoms may include:

    • Sensitivity to temperatures and pressures

    • Fever

    • Swelling in your face, cheek, gums, or lymph nodes

    • Bad breath or a foul taste in the mouth

    • Difficulty breathing or swallowing

How to treat a tooth infection

When you see your dentist, the dentist will typically perform one of the following to treat an abscessed tooth:*

  • Drain an abscessed tooth: An incision will be made into the dental abscess and allow the pus to drain out. The dentist will then perform a saltwater rinse to clean the area. This is the least invasive of the different treatments on the infected tooth and performed when the infection is moderate.

  • Root canal treatment: During the root canal treatment, the dentist drills into the affected tooth to be able to remove the infected pulp and drain the abscess. After filling and sealing the pulp chamber, a crown is typically added for further protection. After the root canal treatment, taking care of the restored tooth properly will ensure that it lasts a lifetime.

  • Tooth extraction: This procedure is only exercised if the infected tooth cannot be saved. The infected tooth is extracted for the dentist to gain access to the dental abscess.

*Please note that PlushCare does not have any dentists at this time.

Tooth infection medication

Tooth infection medications primarily fall into the two main functional groups:

  • Antibiotics

    Dentists can prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. A doctor can also prescribe antibiotics for a tooth infection before the tooth is treated by the dentist, in order to prevent the bacteria from spreading. Antibiotics are only prescribed by a doctor after a medical evaluation. When prescribed antibiotics, be sure to finish the entire course of the prescription.

  • OTC options to treat the pain

    Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) and ibuprofen (e.g. Motrin, Advil) can be taken to reduce swelling, ease discomfort, and provide temporary relief to severe pain.

How to prevent tooth infections

For tooth infection prevention, the key is to have lifestyle practices that promote good oral health hygiene. Effective practices include:

  • Regularly brush teeth with protective toothpaste. Brushing your teeth 2 - 3 times a day helps keep the mouth environment clean.

  • According to the American Dental Association, regular visits to your dentist are important for the prevention and early detection of mouth ailments.

When to see a doctor for a tooth infection

You should always see your dentist to get treatment for abscessed teeth and mouth pain. Do not delay treatment, as the infection does not go away on its own. The bacterial population will continue to spread, causing further tooth decay and damage to gum tissue.

Related conditions to a tooth infection

Untreated tooth infections can spread to the other teeth and other parts of the body causing other health issues. Along with tooth infections, if you start to experience the following symptoms, they may be signals that the infection is spreading:

Tooth infection treatment FAQs

  • What is the best tooth infection treatment?

    While the best treatment is prevention, the treatment decision ultimately depends on the severity of the infection and what your dentist decides. In general, the removal of the infected site, whether by incision and drainage of the abscess, root canal, or tooth extraction, is the most important step.

  • How do you know if you have a tooth infection?

    One key symptom of tooth infection is tooth pain with other symptoms, such as sensitivity to temperatures and pressures, fever, and facial swelling.

  • Can a tooth infection go away on its own?

    A tooth infection will not go away on its own. You should always see your dentist as soon as possible to get treatment for abscessed teeth and mouth pain. Delaying proper treatment will give the infection time to spread to surrounding teeth and gums.

  • How long can a tooth infection go untreated?

    The longer a tooth infection is left untreated, the wider the infection will spread and cause other health complications detrimental to health.

3 simple steps to request treatment for a tooth infection today

Step 1

Book a tooth infection treatment appointment.

Book a same day appointment from anywhere.

Step 2

Talk to your medical provider regarding your tooth infection symptoms.

Visit with a doctor on your smartphone or computer.

Step 3

Pick up a prescription to treat your tooth infection.

We can send prescriptions to any local pharmacy.

Tooth infection pricing details

How pricing works

To request tooth infection treatment and get a new or refill on your prescription, join our monthly membership and get discounted visits

Paying with insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price with insurance

Often the same as an office visit. Most patients with in-network insurance pay $30 or less!

  • We accept these insurance plans and many more:

    • Humana
    • Aetna
    • United Healthcare

Paying without insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price without insurance

Initial visits are $129.

Book an appointment

If we're unable to treat you, we'll provide a full refund.

Tooth infection treatment resources


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

PlushCare content is reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals. Learn more about our editorial standards and meet the medical team. The PlushCare site 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.