Theriot Family Dental

Antibiotics and Tooth Infections

Posted by writeradmin

Can you help me? I went to a dentist I had never been to before for an emergency dental appointment. I was in massive pain. He told me I had a tooth infection and prescribed an antibiotic for me. Within a few days I was feeling better, but now it is starting to hurt again. What do you recommend I do now?


Dear Brandie,

woman holding her jaw in pain

It sounds like either your dentist does not understand how tooth infections work or he didn’t explain things thoroughly enough to you at the appointment. To give him the benefit of the doubt, maybe he did explain things but you were in so much pain not everything he said registered.

Antibiotics will not cure a tooth infection. What it will do is help it get under control and keep it from spreading until you can get the right treatment.

The only way to truly rid your body of a tooth infection is for a dentist to physically get in there and remove the infected pulp. This is typically done with either a root canal treatment or completely extracting the tooth. Without that, once the antibiotic is completed, the infection will return.

This will continue to spread and will not stop at your mouth and jaw. If you think about how close your jaw is to your brain, heart, and lungs, you can understand why people still die of tooth infections. This is why tooth infections are considered dental emergencies.

My suggestion is you call this dentist back and tell him your infection has returned. Ask him to prescribe enough antibiotics to get through the time he has available to do a root canal treatment.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. John Theriot.