Theriot Family Dental

Swelling After a Tooth Extraction

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My sister had a tooth extracted. At the time of the extraction, there was already some swelling of her jaw. He prescribed her some amoxicillin for the infection. It has been three days since her extraction, and the swelling has hardened and gotten worse. I keep telling her to call her dentist back because I think she needs a different antibiotic. She’s very timid and thinks he will get upset at her for “correcting” him on the medication. Is it safe for her to wait or should she call him?


Dear Miranda,

Woman grabbing her jaw in pain

I am with you, she needs to call her dentist and let him know what is going on. Infections in the jaw are nothing to mess around with. She is not correcting him as much as letting him know that the antibiotic is not working on this particular strain of infection. While a decent first antibiotic, there are many strains that are resistant to amoxicillin. He will need to prescribe her something like clindamycin.

If he is offended by her letting him know that her infection is still active, then she will need to find a different dentist. By now, the swelling should be going down if not completely down. The fact that it is getting worse, tells me she has a dental emergency on her hands. If it is not treated promptly, then she could be dealing with a life threatening emergency as it spreads.

One very important characteristic of a dentist is for his or her patients to feel comfortable communicating with him about what is going on with them. If they can’t, then their dental health will be at risk.

You did not mention whether or not her dentist is planning on replacing this extracted tooth for her. I don’t know which tooth she had extracted, but I do know the adjacent teeth will shift or tip into the empty spot. This will throw off her bite and could lead to painful TMJ Disorder. The safest thing to do is to have that tooth replaced. The best replacement is a dental implant, but there are other options as well that she can discuss with her dentist.

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