Tooth pain can be quite excruciating and many are known to find the pain uncontrollable. The pain is mainly due to tooth infection, that is in turn attributed to tooth decay. Other reasons for the pain could also be as a result of injury to the tooth, and past dental procedures. Treatment for infections is almost always antibiotics, and this helps to offer considerable relief to the individual. Subsections will take a deeper look to answer a common question most dentists face from individuals who seek treatment – What are the best antibiotics for a tooth infection? This will help patients take the right remedial measures to manage infections and the ensuing tooth pain.

Why does infection cause tooth pain?

Tooth infections end up causing the formation of pus, in the mouth due to the growth of bacteria, and this is responsible for symptoms such as pain, and inflammation or swelling. Infections of the tooth also result in possible sensitivity, and this causes discomfort. The commonly used medication to treat dental pain are OTC formulations that offer some kind of relief, but the most effective treatment is antibiotics. OTC pain killing medications are effective only to a certain degree and cannot compare with the outcomes of antibiotics. This is because of the mechanism of action of the antibiotics. Pain killers work only on mitigating the pain, without any impact on the underlying cause. Antibiotics work on targeting the bacteria that are responsible for the condition.

How to prevent tooth infection?

There are many reasons for tooth decay, and it is essential to prevent the decay from occurring. A disproportionately large number of people are known to suffer from cavities, while a significantly large number of people leave their conditions untreated. This is known to result in possible complications. The ideal way to prevent infections is to go in for periodic checkups. This will prevent or preempt tooth infections and help identify tooth decay.

What are the best antibiotics for a tooth infection?

Among antibiotics, some are known to be more effective while others are not as effective or equally effective. It is important to use the right antibiotic, as infections that are left untreated, may result in the infection spreading to the brain, the jaw. Here is a look at some of the commonly preferred and recommended antibiotics that are prescribed to ensure that oral bacteria do not spread from the oral cavity. One possible eventuality that could arise from the spread of bacteria from the mouth is endocarditis.   There are instances when antibiotics are not recommended – that is if the patient has a weak immune system or if the infection is extremely severe.

Here is a look at some of the commonly used antibiotics

Certain antibiotics are known to work with a broad effect against many types of bacteria strains, while some are known to have a specific targeted action. With more than hundred and fifty strains of bacteria, it is important to choose accordingly.

#1 Penicillins

This is a category of antibiotics and is probably one of the most popularly known category. This class of antibiotics includes amoxicillin, which is another commonly prescribed formulation. These medications may be prescribed to be taken alone or may be combined with other drugs such as clavulanic acid, and are intended to treat certain strains of bacteria that are difficult to manage.

#2 Clindamycin

This is another category of antibiotic that is known to be effective against a wide strain of bacteria. In addition to this advantage, the drug is also preferred because bacteria are known to have relatively lesser drug resistance to Clindamycin than penicillin.

#3 Azithromycin

This antibiotic is also known to work effectively on many strains of bacteria. Despite being an effective option, it is almost always recommended as an option, only for individuals who are known to have resistance to penicillin class of drugs.  Similarly, individuals who have developed resistance to Clindamycin may also be recommended Azithromycin.

 #4 Metronidazole

This antibiotic is regularly used to treat a wide variety of dental infections. However, it is not the first choice of or the first line and is almost always used when other medications are not found to be suitable. This could be because other medications trigger allergies or individuals may develop resistance to the drugs.

What is the ideal dosage of antibiotics and medications for tooth infection?

Ideally, the best dosage of amoxicillin for tooth infection is 500 mg that is recommended to be taken once in eight hours. Alternatively, the dosage can be increased to 1000 mg to be taken once in twelve hours. When combined with clavulanic acid, amoxicillin is recommended to be taken once in eight hours with a recommended dosage anywhere between 500–2,000 mg. The actual dosage will depend on the outcome of the dosage and the condition, and will differ from person to person. Though amoxicillin is regarded as the first line of treatment to handle tooth infections, other formulations may also be used as the first choice.

This is primarily because certain strains of bacteria are known to have a strong resistance to the drugs. Additionally, certain drug formulations are also known to have a higher probability of causing allergies in patients. Dentists choose the most suitable drugs depending on the history of allergies of patients. When Clindamycin is recommended, the ideal dosage is anywhere between 300 mg to 6000 mg, that is to be given once in eight hours. The actual dosage will depend on the outcomes of the drug and the dosage. In the case of Azithromycin, the recommended dosage is often 500 mg to be taken once a day, for a period of three days. The ideal dosage of metronidazole is anywhere between 500 mg to 750 mg, to be taken once in eight hours.

What are the side effects of antibiotics for tooth infections?

Possible side effects of antibiotics include feelings of dizziness, possible nausea, and bouts of diarrhea. The individual may end up with the outbreak of rashes, and could also have to contend with yeast infections. There are other possible serious effects, such as allergies and anaphylaxis.

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