Theriot Family Dental

Can I Take Old Antibiotics for a Tooth Infection?

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I have a molar that is rotting. I really don’t have a lot of money coming up with the holidays upon us. I have some antibiotics I didn’t really need so never took them. Is there a way to use these to take care of my rotting tooth? I’d hate to take care of my tooth instead of get my children Christmas presents.


Dear Sylvia,

woman holding her jaw in pain

I am sorry you are facing this, especially during the holidays.  I am going to recommend a different course of action than the one you are suggesting. Antibiotics do not work on a tooth infection the way they do on other infections. The most it will do is hold the infection at bay until you run out of pills and then the infection will return with a vengeance. Then you will be in a worse position than you are now. These types of infections are dental emergencies. If left untreated, they can turn into life-threatening emergencies.

Most dentists are compassionate. I am positive you can find a dentist that will treat you and allow you to pay it out. This way your health is safe and you can get your children some Christmas presents. I would start by doing an internet search for an “affordable dentist“. These are the most likely to offer assistance and take payments. Hopefully, you are in time to save the tooth with just a root canal treatment. If it turns out that you cannot save the tooth, your next course of action is to extract it.

If that becomes necessary, I’d get an inexpensive, temporary tooth replacement, like a dental flipper. Then, after the holidays, start saving for a better, permanent tooth replacement. My suggestion is a dental implant.

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