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Amoxicillin for Dental Abscess

A dental abscess is an accumulation of pus that forms inside the teeth (periapical abscess) or gums (periodontal abscess). A tooth infection usually results from dental caries, when bacteria infect the center of the tooth (the pulp).

There are two types of dental abscess:

  • Periapical abscess (tooth infection) usually results from dental caries, when bacteria infect the center of the tooth (the pulp).
  • Periodontal abscess occurs when bacteria infect the gums.

The goal of treatment is to drain the pus and eliminate the infection. The dentist may drain the abscess by an opening made through the tooth or as part of a root canal treatment or tooth extraction (if the abscessed tooth can't be saved).

The dentist may prescribe antibiotic for a few days before a dental procedure. However, an antibiotic will not clear the pus or eliminate the infection until the pus is drained. Antibiotic may be used after draining the pus to help clear any remaining infection and prevent complications.

Amoxicillin

Amoxicillin is a suitable antibiotic for treating both tooth and gum abscesses 1.

Amoxicillin dosage: 500 mg three times a day for 5 days.

You must see a dentist if you have a dental abscess. Amoxicillin alone, without surgical drainage, may not be effective because of poor penetration into the abscess cavity.

Co-Amoxiclav

Another antibiotic that is also recommended for tooth infection is co-amoxiclav (amoxicillin with clavulinic acid)2.

Co-Amoxiclav dosage: can be used in doses ranging from 375 mg to 625 mg every 8 hours.

Amoxicillin plus metronidazole

Another option is amoxicillin plus metronidazole. The dose which can be used is 375 mg amoxicillin in combination with 250 mg metronidazole every 8 hours for 7 days3. This combination is particularly effective against Porphyromonas gingivalis, a major cause of periodontitis.

See also

Reference

  • 1. Dar-Odeh NS, Abu-Hammad OA, Al-Omiri MK, Khraisat AS, Shehabi AA. Antibiotic prescribing practices by dentists: a review. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2010 Jul 21;6:301-6. PubMed
  • 2. Dar-Odeh NS, Abu-Hammad OA, Al-Omiri MK, Khraisat AS, Shehabi AA. Antibiotic prescribing practices by dentists. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2010 Jul 21;6:301-6. PubMed
  • 3. Winkel EG, Van Winkelhoff AJ, Timmerman MF, Van der Velden U, Van der Weijden GA. Amoxicillin plus metronidazole in the treatment of adult periodontitis patients. A double-blind placebo-controlled study. J Clin Periodontol. 2001 Apr;28(4):296-305.
  • 4. Schüssl Y, Pelz K, Kempf J, Otten JE. Concentrations of amoxicillin and clindamycin in teeth following a single dose of oral medication. Clin Oral Investig. 2013 Mar 13.

Author: OriginalDrugs Team
Last reviewed:February, 2015

Quick facts

amoxicillin
  • A single dose of oral amoxicillin leads to high concentrations of antibiotic in dental hard tissue4.