Tooth Abscess Still Swollen After 3 Days of Antibiotics: Is It a Dental Emergency?

A tooth abscess is a nasty pus-filled pocket at your tooth’s root. This happens due to bacteria buildup inside the tooth, affecting its structure. If the abscess is small, around < 3-4 cm, drainage might not be required, and it will be treated with antibiotics alone. However, what if your tooth abscess is still swollen after 3 days of antibiotics? Does it mean another trip to the dental hospital’s emergency room?

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    Face Still Swollen After 3 Days of Antibiotics

    The swelling on the face should reduce after consuming antibiotics; however, if you do not notice any difference after 3 days of medication, your issue must be more complex. You shouldn’t wait and finish the antibiotics course, which takes 7-10 days.

    Instead, you must visit your dentist as the antibiotics are not functioning as they should, so there’s no point in waiting. The following are some possible causes:

    • You’re taking the wrong kind of antibiotics
    • Your treatment began late
    • Your body is antibiotic-resistant

    1. Wrong Antibiotics

    Usually, Amoxicillin is prescribed to remove the abscess infection. However, it can sometimes fail to cure certain kinds of infections. If the swelling does not subside after 3 days, your dental professional can consider switching your medication. Some other types of antibiotics besides Amoxicillin include:

    • Erythromycin
    • Azithromycin
    • Doxycycline
    • Metronidazole
    • Cephalexin

    2. Late Treatment

    You are supposed to take antibiotics within 48 hours. If you start them after it, chances are, the infection has reached beyond the ability of antibiotics to cure your infection. Intense pain and hardness can indicate this.

    What to Do:

    Your dentist will go for incision and drainage when antibiotics fail due to late treatment. This includes numbing the area, making a minor cut in the abscess, and squeezing the pus out with finger pressure. Your dentist will then wash the abscess with saline water and ask you to continue your course of antibiotics for 2-3 days.

    3. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria

    At times, there are cases where the patient has taken too many dosages of antibiotics recently. Hence, their body develops antibiotic-resistant bacteria immune to such drugs. This situation is better to be treated in a hospital with larger facilities and equipment.

    Will a Tooth Infection Come Back After Antibiotics?

    Antibiotics are a temporary relief; they can subside the infection for days, weeks, or even months. However, this will only mask the problem for the time being until a dentist enters the picture. Medical intervention, such as a root canal, must physically remove the infected pulp to fully eliminate the infection.

    Each time you take antibiotics to get rid of the infection, the bacteria keeps feeding on it and grows immune, resulting in recurring infections. To prevent the surprise entry of infection in the future. You can:

    • Brush twice a day, using a fluoride-rich toothpaste.
    • Floss daily to reach the grooves and narrow spaces between your teeth to stop plaque buildup.
    • Restrict your sugar consumption.
    • Ensure you receive routine cleanings and examinations from your dentist.

    What People Say About Us

    Some of happy client sharing their experience with Spring Dental Arts

    This is the best dental office I’ve ever been to, hands down. Everyone is so welcoming and professional. It almost feels like home when I come in for dental work. The team is absolutely amazing and the doctor is outstanding! I love the office as it’s very clean and homey!

    ~ Kayza M.

    I visited Spring Dental Arts for the 1st time today, and was very impressed with their service. Staff is great and very friendly Amber was great, she listened to my concerns and provided great feedback. Looking forward to continue my treatment with SDA.

    ~ Erika Thomas.

    This is the best dentist office I’ve ever been to, hands down. Everyone is so welcoming and professional. It almost feels like home when I come in for dental work. Ms.Amber, Briana and Jess are absolutely amazing and Dr.A is outstanding! I love the office as it’s very clean and homey!

    ~ Kayza Mallet.

    Ending Note

    Dental abscess is not something to be taken lightly. It indicates that the bacteria have reached your gums, surpassing the enamel and dentin. This also means your tooth has fully decayed. A restorative dentistry treatment at Spring Dental Arts.

    Dr. Ahmad J. Akram specializes in personalized dental care for you and your family. Call us at (281) 651-9494 to schedule an appointment.