I was prescribed antibiotics by my dentist for a possible tooth infection. My gums were red and painful, and even my face was swollen a bit. I’ve taken them a few times a day for the past two weeks. The swelling went down for awhile, but now it’s back and worse than before. My cheek is swollen and yellow-ish, and there’s a weird taste in my mouth. Do I need to go to an emergency dentist? I’m not sure what they will do besides give me more antibiotics. What else can I do?
Jake, from Big Arm, Montana
I’m sorry to hear about your situation. Antibiotics aren’t the only treatment for tooth infections – they are a part of it. Once the infection is under control, then your dentist start your treatment plan. One treatment would be to extract the tooth, but a more common treatment is a root canal, which would open and drain the source of the infection. Once your infection is cleaned out, you should feel relief. Your infection sounds serious, so it’s unclear why your dentist has not done anything about it. If your pain worsens, go see an emergency dentist.
It sounds like your dentist does not fully understand tooth infections. Infections come when the organic material inside your tooth dies. Antibiotics are one treatment, but dead tissue receives no circulation, so a root canal or extraction is necessary. The antibiotics alone cannot clear out the infection. If you just take antibiotics without any treatment plan, you risk creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria in your mouth. This can cause complications, so you want to follow-up with your dentist, or a second opinion from an emergency dentist.
This blog post is brought to you by Baton Rouge emergency dentist, Dr. Ryan P. Perry.