If you are experiencing intense tooth pain, it could be due to a cavity, an impacted tooth, or an abscessed tooth. A tooth abscess, also known as a tooth infection, causes severe tooth pain. Tooth infections occur when bacteria invade the tooth, causing decay and inflammation. When you have an infected tooth, your dentist will prescribe you an antibiotic to clear up the infection. So, how long does penicillin take to work on tooth infection and how soon will you experience relief?
Symptoms Of A Tooth Infection
When a tooth becomes infected, you will typically experience pain. Many people think the pain will be limited to the tooth; however, the pain can occur in your neck, jaw, and face due to the sheer number of nerves that your teeth are connected to.
In addition to pain, a tooth infection can cause tooth sensitivity to cold, heat, or excess pressure. You may have tenderness around your tooth, and you may experience inflammation in your jaw, mouth, or face. This inflammation can lead to pressure and pain.
If the infection is left untreated, the infection can travel to the brain, resulting in fever, chills, a stiff neck, mood swings, and a change in consciousness. The infection can also spread to the bloodstream, resulting in sepsis. Sepsis causes changes in your body temperature, confusion, drowsiness, body pain, fever, and chills.
How Is a Tooth Infection Treated?
If your tooth becomes infected, your dentist will prescribe an antibiotic to help your body fight off the infection. Penicillin is typically the antibiotic prescribed for tooth infections. Penicillin has been used for years to decimate bacteria that attack the teeth.
A dentist will also recommend that patients brush their teeth multiple times per day and floss at least twice per day to remove excess bacteria and food particles. To ensure that your mouth is as clean as possible, use a water dental flosser to blast away food particles and bacteria that may be hiding in between your teeth. Finish off by brushing your teeth with an electric toothbrush. An electric toothbrush powers away plaque, food particles, and bacteria from your teeth and gumline.
How Long Does Penicillin Take to Work on Tooth Infection?
Typically, a dentist will prescribe an antibiotic for a tooth infection. One of the top choices is penicillin. Penicillin is to be taken every 8 hours for seven to ten days; however, this antibiotic begins working as soon as the first dose.
Most patients do not see a change in their symptoms for approximately three days. As the antibiotics continue to fight off your infection, you will begin feeling a little better each day. Once you complete your course of antibiotics, your dentist will want a follow-up visit to ensure the infection has cleared up.
A large abscess that is large will need to be drained. Your dentist will make a small incision in your gum to remove the pus from the abscess. Once the pus is drained out, the dentist will flush the area with a saline solution to sterilize the area before a root canal is performed.
When Will I Need A Root Canal?
If the bacteria have entered the root of the tooth, a root canal may need to be performed. A root canal involves removing the inner pulp of the tooth and the nerves in the root. During a root canal, the infection will be removed. A dentist will then fill the bored out area to seal it up. Afterward, the dentist will put a crown on your tooth to restore the look and function of the tooth. Even with a root canal, you will need to take a full course of an antibiotic like penicillin to ensure all traces of infection is gone.
If the tooth is too infected to be saved, you may need to have a tooth extraction. The dentist will pull the tooth and then drain the abscess to help rid your body of infection. After the removal, you will take a full course of antibiotics to ensure all excess bacteria are killed off.
An antibiotic not only kills excess bacteria but also helps prevent the spread of bacteria to the surrounding teeth, your brain, or your bloodstream. Knowing how long does penicillin take to work on tooth infection is the first step towards overcoming a tooth infection. In addition to taking your antibiotic as directed, brush using fluoride toothpaste, reduce starchy and sugary food items and drinks, visit your dentist regularly, and floss at least daily to keep your gums and teeth healthy.