Patients with abscessed tooth experience varying levels of pain, apart from possible fever and swollen lymph nodes in certain instances. Various treatment options are presently available to manage the condition, including antibiotics. Here is an in-depth look at one of the more popular combination medications; and subsections also offer answers to the question – does AMOX-CLAV treat an abscessed tooth? Information also includes the mechanism of action of the medication and the possible undesirable outcomes from the combination medication.
What is abscessed tooth?
An abscessed tooth refers to the dental condition wherein a pocket of pus, forms either inside, or outside or around the tooth root. This could also occur in the gum tissue near the tooth, and is attributed to bacterial infection, The abscess is known to cause pain, swelling, and redness in the affected area, apart from the symptoms outlined above. In most instances, abscessed tooth is due an untreated cavity; and this allows bacteria to enter the tooth and cause the infection. This affects the pulp, the soft tissue inside the tooth containing the nerves and blood vessels.
The infection is then likely to spread to surrounding tissue, resulting in the formation of an abscess. Other reasons that are attributed to the condition include gum disease, trauma to the tooth, or a cracked or broken tooth. Untreated abscessed tooth may result in possible serious complications, including spread of infection to other parts of the body.
What are the treatment options for abscessed tooth?
Treatment typically involves draining the abscess, removal of the infected tissue, antibiotics, and/or performing a root canal or tooth extraction. Treatment actually depends on the severity of the infection and the extent of the damage to the tooth and surrounding tissue. Some of the common treatment options include the following:
#1 Antibiotics: When infections spread beyond the abscessed area, antibiotics are prescribed to fight the bacteria and prevent spread of the infection.
#2 Drainage: The abscess may also be drained through a small incision in the gum tissue near the abscess to allow the pus to drain out. This is known to help relieve pain and pressure.
#3 Root canal treatment: When the infection has reached the pulp of the tooth, a root canal may be necessary to remove the infected tissue and to seal the tooth. This prevents prevent further infection, and also involves use of a crown on the tooth to strengthen and protect it.
#4 Tooth extraction: When the tooth is severely damaged it may be necessary to extract the tooth to prevent the infection from spreading further.
#5 Pain management: Pain medication including over-the-counter pain relievers may help manage the pain and discomfort.
What is AMOX-CLAV?
AMOX-CLAV, the shortened name for amoxicillin-clavulanate, is a combination medication of two antibiotics – amoxicillin and clavulanic acid. This broad-spectrum antibiotic is used to treat various bacterial infections, including respiratory infections, skin infections, urinary tract infections, and dental infections.
Amoxicillin in the combination is a penicillin-type antibiotic causes death of the bacteria. Clavulanic acid is a beta-lactamase inhibitor protects amoxicillin from being broken down by certain bacteria strains. This combination is regarded as highly effective, when compared with medications that contain only amoxicillin.
Available in various forms, including tablets, capsules, and oral suspensions, the dosage and duration of treatment varies depending on the severity of the infection. Other factors are also considered, including the age of the patient and health, apart from the form of medication used.
Mechanism of action of AMOX-CLAV
The mechanism of action of Amoxicillin is inhibition of the formation of the bacterial cell wall, essential for the survival of the bacteria. Amoxicillin binds to the penicillin-binding proteins on the bacterial cell wall, and this prevents the formation of new cell wall, resulting bacterial death.
The mechanism of action of Clavulanic acid is inhibition of the activity of beta-lactamase enzymes produced by certain strains of bacteria. These enzymes are known to break down penicillin-type antibiotics, rendering them ineffective. Clavulanic acid binds to beta-lactamase enzymes and prevents the breaking down of amoxicillin, thereby ensuring that the spectrum of activity of amoxicillin is unaffected. The combination of amoxicillin and clavulanic acid in AMOX-CLAV results in a broad-spectrum antibiotic outcome.
What are the possible side effects of amox-clav?
All medications may trigger undesirable outcomes and AMOX-CLAV is no exception, with commonly reported effects including the following:
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Skin rash or itching
- Yeast infections – oral thrush/vaginal yeast infection
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Change in taste or metallic taste in the mouth
- Tooth discoloration – this common among children on the medication
- Outbreak of severe skin rash or blistering
- Difficulty breathing
- Allergic reactions – swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Severe diarrhea – indicating serious intestinal infection called Clostridioides difficile infection
- Jaundice – characterized by yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Seizures or convulsions
Does AMOX-CLAV treat an abscessed tooth?
With the basic information, it is now time to answer the above question. The answer is YES and NO. AMOX-CLAV, as an antibiotic medication is effective in treating dental abscesses. However, it is important to note that not all dental abscesses are caused by bacteria. In the event of a dental abscess in the tooth due to other conditions or reasons, the medication may not deliver the desired results. For instance, if the abscess is attributed to a viral or fungal infection, AMOX-CLAV will not be effective. The ideal way to assess an abscess is to undergo a proper dental examination by a specialist dentist. This will result in a thorough diagnosis and also ensure that the treatment is effective and appropriate for the dental abscess. As mentioned, it may be necessary to use a combination of medications, including antibiotics.
The typical or ideal dosage of AMOX-CLAV for dental abscess depends on various factors – the severity of the infection, age, weight, and medical history, and use of other medications. Generally, the dosage regimen for adults could go up to 875/125 mg twice a day for a period of that may extend to ten days. However, this is only a broad reference and the actual dosage is best determined by a dentist.