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Home > Wellness > Health Library > 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 (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, or if you do not take
the antibiotic for a long enough period of time, the bacterial infection may
Serious but rare side effects of
Common but mild side effects of antibiotics include:
Diarrhea and vaginal yeast infections sometimes occur when
antibiotics destroy some of the normal and necessary bacteria that live in the
body. Eating yogurt may help prevent these side effects.
get diarrhea while taking an antibiotic, contact your
doctor to find out whether you should continue the medicine or try a different
medicine. Do not abruptly stop the antibiotic.
may increase your sensitivity to sunlight (photophobia).
Avoid prolonged sun exposure while taking antibiotics.
Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in
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.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
March 22, 2011
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Steven K. Patterson, BS, DDS, MPH - Dentistry
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