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How Do I Use Amoxicillin for a Tooth Abscess?

By Amy Rodriguez
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Amoxicillin is prescribed in a variety of forms — such as capsules, liquid suspensions, or injections — for treating tooth abscess infections. The drug amoxicillin derives from penicillin, a strong antibiotic for treating bacterial infections. Only trained physicians can prescribe amoxicillin for a tooth abscess. The medication is generally taken over a course of days at regular intervals and at doses appropriate to the patient's weight.

A tooth abscess is a bacterial infection of the tooth's enamel tubes. Tooth decay can easily cause an abscess to occur, warranting an immediate round of amoxicillin. Allowing the infection to persist without antibiotic intervention can lead to serious health problems, such as infections of the adjacent bone structures.

Amoxicillin functions well with a constant level of antibiotics within the human body. Doctors will commonly require a patient to take the antibiotic on a constant basis, such as every 12 hours, for a number of days. Serious infections call for higher drug doses at more frequent time intervals, such as over 7 to 10 days, based on the doctor's diagnosis. Less severe illnesses may only require a few days of drug use.

The dosage amount is also based on the patient's weight. Length of amoxicillin treatment and drug strength must be appropriate to the patient's size, from infants to adults who are overweight. Adults can commonly take an oral form of amoxicillin for a tooth abscess, but an infant or small child may require an injection or chewable tablet form of the drug.

Some patients may forget to take the amoxicillin for a tooth abscess. Once the patient remembers the forgotten dose, doctors suggest taking it as soon as possible. In cases where the patient is approaching the next dosage time, however, the missed dose should be omitted. Excessive amounts of amoxicillin in the body may cause uncomfortable side effects, such as nausea.

The amoxicillin prescription may make the patient feel much better prior to completing the treatment course. The tooth abscess may stop throbbing and visually appear normal. Even though they may feel better, patients should finish the prescribed amoxicillin, unless directed otherwise by the doctor. Infection bacteria may still be active in the abscess area. Completing the antibiotic drug series will ensure that all bacterial cells are destroyed, preventing an illness recurrence.

Any patients who have allergic reactions to penicillin or penicillin-derived drugs should notify the doctor before taking any amoxicillin for a tooth abscess. Severe effects can occur from a drug-induced allergic reaction, such as vomiting or dry heaving. A doctor can find an alternative non-penicillin related drug for treating the bacterial infection.

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Discussion Comments

By stoneMason — On Aug 30, 2013

I had a serious tooth abscess last month. I thought that I was going to lose the tooth, but the amoxicillin saved me. I had to take a very high dose though and I had to take it for ten days. The amoxicillin caused some diarrhea, but it relieved my tooth pain after about the third day so I think it was worth it.

My tooth seems okay for now but it might cause problems again in the future.

By discographer — On Aug 29, 2013

@feruze-- The usual dose is 500mg/day for an adult. But the dose depends on how serious the infection is and how the patient is responding to the medication.

I've taken amoxicillin many times for various dental problems and infections. I've been given varying doses depending on the problem. When I had an abscess, I was given 500mg/day for a week. After a week, I went for a check-up and my symptoms were continuing, so my doctor increased my dose to 500mg twice a day for three more days which did the trick. But I didn't leave any time between the two doses, so it worked.

The important part about taking antibiotics is to take it at least for consequent five days, unless the doctor specifically tells you three or four days. The reason is because if the treatment is left early, the remaining bacteria become stronger, develop resistance and the infection becomes even more serious. Taking the entire course of antibiotics prescribed ensures that all of the bacteria is killed.

By bear78 — On Aug 29, 2013

What's the normal dose of amoxicillin for an adult with a tooth abscess? And how many days should it be taken for, five?

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