If you have a tooth abscess, antibiotics are pretty much an essential part of treatment. Tooth abscess antibiotics for a dental infection are very effective, and the most commonly prescribed antibiotic is probably Amoxicillin, a type of penicillin. It's usually called Amoxyl.
BUT you don't ALWAYS need antibiotics, and these days we are trying to cut down on antibiotic prescribing due to bacteria becoming resistant. If it's possible for your dentist to drain an infection, either by making a small hole in the tooth or else by making a small incision in the gum to let the pus out, then the infection has a way out, and you may not need antibiotics.
The discovery of the first antibiotic - penicillin - by Nobel Prize-winner Alexander Fleming created a revolution. As Woody Allen said, "I wouldn't want to have lived in any time period before the invention of antibiotics".
When you think about it, he's right! Before antibiotics came along, many people died from simple infections that would be treated very easily today.
ONE THING to remember, though, is that we have an increasing problem of bacteria becoming immune to our antibiotics.
Potentially, this is a very serious problem, because it means that in the future, a simple infection might kill you if the bacteria responsible have become immune to antibiotics.
The problem of some types of bacteria developing immunity (or "resistance") to common antibiotics has developed gradually over recent years, due to doctors and dentists "over-prescribing". While there is A LOT of research being done into new, alternative antibiotics, we can all help to reduce the problem of antibiotic resistance by only taking current tooth abscess antibiotics when we are SURE that there is an infection caused by bacteria, with a swelling, difficulty opening your jaw, or a raised temperature.
THERE IS ALSO NEW PRESCRIBING INFORMATION! Recent studies (in 2017) have shown that SHORT courses of antibiotics (ie. 3 to 5 days) are just as effective as longer courses (ie. 7 to 10 days). AND taking antibiotics for longer than 3 to 5 days means that you are MORE LIKELY to get an antibiotic-resistant infection!
The report recommends only taking antibiotics for as long as you still have symptoms. As soon as you feel things are back to normal, you can STOP taking the antibiotics.
BUT LET"S GET to that list of antibiotics for a tooth infection;
Here is a list of the most widely-used tooth abscess antibiotics:
To keep the level of Penicillin V in your bloodstream high enough, it must be taken in 4 doses spread out over the day. The normal dose is 250mg every 6 hours. If it is taken less frequently, say once every 8 hours, the blood concentration may dip below the effective bacteria-killing level for an hour or so before the next dose is taken. So one dose every 6 hours is needed to make sure the bacteria are being killed.
Unfortunately, people tend to miss one of the doses during the day, because they forget or they are busy. This means that Penicillin V doesn't always work quite as well as it should do. Most dentists will now prescribe a more modern form of Penicillin - Amoxicillin.
HOWEVER, the recommended dose DOES seem to vary from country to country. In some countries, the dose is 250mg taken FOUR times a day. (The same as for Penicillin V). In other countries, the recommended dose is 500mg, taken THREE times a day! And this has been shown to be very effective.
So, depending where you live and how up to date your doctor or dentist is, the DAILY dose seems to be between 1000mg and 1,500mg. This is divided over 3 to 4 intakes per day.
Personally, I think Clamoxyl (Amoxicillin combined with clavulanic acid) is too powerful and unnecessary
for most dental infections.
It should really only be prescribed if you have had a swab or sample of the infection sent to a laboratory
for testing, to see if the infection is being caused by a bacteria that can break down plain Amoxicillin.
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Metronidazole is particularly good for infections under the gum around the neck of the tooth or a dental implant infection. It is effective against bacteria that do not need oxygen. In fact, these bacteria are INHIBITED by oxygen. These are called "anaerobic" bacteria. They frequently cause dental infections in the gum over a wisdom tooth that is just poking through the gum a little; anaerobic bacteria can also cause a severe infection that usually appears between the lower front teeth called Acute Ulcerative Gingivitis.
For more stubborn infections, Metronidazole can be taken at the same time as Amoxicillin. Working together, the two antibiotics have a synergy which produces an effectiveness much greater than could be expected from just adding the two together! Tooth infections don't stand a chance against this powerful combination!
For gum infections, such as around a dental implant, a high-quality peroxide-containing mouthwash can be very effective, because it releases OXYGEN. The BEST one is the TheraBreath Oral Rinse, available from Amazon.
The usual dose is 150mg, taken FOUR times a day. This makes it very good for infections within the bone, such as a tooth extraction infection. However, it does have a very small risk of causing a potentially serious stomach condition.
For this reason, it is usually kept in reserve as an "antibiotic of last resort". Having said that, it is becoming increasingly more widely used.
Clindamycin is also an alternative antibiotic if you are allergic to penicillin.
Tooth abscess antibiotics are also used in other areas of general medicine. They just happen to be particularly effective against the bacteria that commonly cause dental infections.
All tooth abscess antibiotics work in one of 2 ways; either they kill the bacteria outright, or else they slow down or stop the bacteria from multiplying, and so give your own immune system a chance to work.
The ones that kill bacteria are called "bacteriocidal"' and the ones that stop bacteria multiplying are called "bacteriostatic". You might think that the best antibiotics are the bacteriocidal ones, but this isn't always true. Clindamycin, for example, is bacteriostatic, but extremely effective!
To get the best results, you must always take your antibiotics exactly as directed by your health care professional.