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Home > Health & Fitness > Healthwise > Antibiotics for an Abscessed Tooth
Antibiotics kill bacteria and are used to
fight many types of infections. Antibiotics for an
abscessed tooth are given in pill or liquid (oral) form, usually
for a 7- to 10-day period.
A bacterial infection that causes an
abscessed tooth must be treated to kill or prevent the further growth of
bacteria, because a continuing bacterial infection may cause more serious
disease, such as
cellulitis. Antibiotics are used along with other
treatment, which may include opening the
root canal to drain the source of the abscess, lancing
a swelling (gumboil) next to the tooth, or removing the tooth
Antibiotic treatment of an abscessed
tooth, when used along with either a root canal treatment or extraction, is
effective at stopping a bacterial infection in the jaw.
antibiotic is not effective at killing the bacteria, if you do not take
the antibiotic for a long enough period of time, or if you don't also get dental treatment, the bacterial infection may
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:
Call your doctor right away if you have:
Common side effects of this medicine include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
It is important to take all of the
dentist prescribes. Keep taking the medicine until it
is gone, even after you start to feel better. Otherwise your bacterial
infection may return.
Antibiotics cannot always kill bacteria (antibiotic resistance), in part because they are used too much or are used incorrectly. You can help prevent antibiotic resistance by taking all of your medicine as directed, even if you feel better after a few days. If you stop taking your medicine too soon, bacteria that are not killed in the first few days of treatment can grow stronger and become resistant to the antibiotic.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Current as of:
January 24, 2013
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Steven K. Patterson, BS, DDS, MPH - Dentistry
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
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