If you’re suffering from persistent toothache, you will naturally be scouring the internet for ways to help ease the pain. While amoxicillin may be taken to help you after a dental procedure, it is only an antibiotic. The prescribed drug will help you with bacterial infection but it will not be your solution for a tooth ache. Below we recommend some actions you can take at home to help ease pain and discomfort.
What Is Amoxicillin?
One of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics is amoxicillin, especially for dental infections. Antibiotics such as amoxicillin works by killing the bacteria in infections. In addition to a prescription of antibiotics, your dentist may prescribe you some pain relievers to manage a toothache.
During the development of an infection, bacteria will enter the blood vessels around the troubled area. This infection may lead to inflammation, which can turn into an abscess. Amoxicillin attacks the cell wall of the bacteria and kills the bacteria. This removes the infection altogether.
However, depending on the severity of your infection, the bacteria may survive. In this case, you will require another course of antibiotics. Your dentist may decide to prescribe additional drugs to help treat the infection. With that being said, in most instances, one cycle of amoxicillin should suffice after an invasive dental procedure.
Can I Use Amoxicillin for a Toothache?
A toothache can be a combination of both oral pain and dental infection. Patients who suffer from toothaches can sometimes be prescribed antibiotics by their doctor or dentist. Antibiotics are used in some cases of tooth aches to help relieve any symptoms and to prevent the onset of an infection. However, in the end, tooth aches have one solution that will make them go away, a root canal. This is because by the time you have a tooth ache, the onset of bacteria in the pulp of the root has already established itself. The development of bacteria in the pulp will require removal and cleanup of the cavity area.
The American Dental Association (ADA) has released guidelines. These guidelines say antibiotics are not necessary for all toothaches. The ADA recommends that if an otherwise healthy patient is experiencing a toothache, then they are best to receive traditional treatment. While waiting for their appointment, patients should take pain relievers for the aches.
The ADA warns that the overuse of antibiotics is affecting our body’s immune system. There is a risk of prescribing antibiotics when other treatments are available. This risk is that overuse of these drugs, builds up resistance towards them. As a result, their level of effectiveness on the body begins to diminish. “It’s vital that we use them wisely so that they continue to be effective”, warns Dr. Peter Lockhart of the ADA expert panel.
Dr. Lockhart goes further to say, “When dental treatment is not immediately available and the patient has signs and symptoms such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, or extreme tiredness, antibiotics may need to be prescribed”.
When to Use Amoxicillin for a Toothache
When is it okay to use amoxicillin to treat a toothache? You may be prescribed antibiotics to treat your toothache if you are showing the following signs or symptoms:
- Signs of a Fever
- Swollen Lymph Nodes
- Extreme Tiredness
- Signs of Infection
These symptoms are dire signs that poor management of your dental health is causing symptoms associated with an infection. When a patient has an oral infection, it causes a pocket of fluid or pus to form underneath the root of the tooth. This pocket forms due to a bacterial infection, which are commonly caused by:
- Tooth Decay
- Previous Dental Work
- Dental or Oral Injuries
If you are suffering from a tooth infection, you will most likely experience:
- Sensitivity to hot and/or cold
- Oral Swelling
How Long Should I Take Amoxicillin?
If you are prescribed amoxicillin as part of your dental treatment, you will likely be required to continue the course for one week to ten days. It is essential to finish the complete course of antibiotics, unless you have been advised otherwise by your dentist. If you fail to complete the course, some bacteria may survive. This will make it more difficult to treat.
If you have any questions about your antibiotics, your pharmacist should be able to help. Your pharmacist will provide you with clear instructions on how to take your medication. It is also important to note that you may be required to take a few courses of antibiotics before your infection clears up.
How to Treat Tooth Ache
If you are suffering from a toothache but it doesn’t require antibiotics, there are other remedies you could take to help relieve some of the pain. There are some over-the-counter remedies that you can take at home while you wait for a dental appointment to address your pain and discomfort:
- Pain Relief (such as ibuprofen)
- Gently rinse the mouth with salt water
- Avoid hot or cold foods and beverages
- Chew on the opposite side of your mouth
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
Overall, there are some reasons why a patient can be suffering from a toothache. It could be your body telling you there is an infection or perhaps tooth decay, tooth injury, or an impacted tooth. If your pain is persistent, you should schedule a dental check-up as soon as you can, and your dentist will advise which treatment is best for you.