I’ve been on an antibiotic for a week for a tooth infection. But, instead of healing my tooth seems to be getting worse. Now my face is starting to swell. Should I get a different antibiotic? I thought the tooth would be healed by now.
Mandy – Idaho
I’m a little alarmed by what you’ve said. My hope is either you’ve only told me part of the story or you misunderstood your dentist. Antibiotics do not heal a tooth infection. They’re used to help, but unless your dentist gets in there and removes the infected tissue, the infection will spread. Left without proper treatment, this can kill you. Think about how close your teeth are to your heart and brain. You don’t want the infection spreading to either of those. This is a dental emergency and needs to be treated right away, especially based on what you described with your face. The infection is spreading.
There are occasions when doing an antibiotic ahead of time is useful. If your infected tooth is being extracted, it’s good practice to get the infection under control before you have the extraction. This decreases any risk to you.
Hopefully, that’s what is going on. If not, and your dentist has no further plans for your infection, then you need a different dentist. One who understands the nature of tooth infections.
Also, if you’re getting a tooth extracted, you’ll need to replace the missing tooth. There are several options available to you. Ideally, you’d get a dental implant, but that certainly isn’t your only option.
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