Dental Tips Blog

Nov
7

What You Need to Know About Root Canals and Antibiotics

Posted in Root Canals

It is vital to see your dentist if you develop an abscess in your tooth or surrounding gum tissue. If a tooth breaks or dental infection has reached the pulp (central part) of the tooth, a root canal may be necessary. If infection is present, the dentist will start the patient on an antibiotic regimen before any treatment begins.

Below are five reasons to start this antibiotic treatment as soon as possible.

  1. Numbing. The dentist will not be able to numb the tooth and gum if inflammation is present.
  2. Fistula. If left untreated, this infection could cause a fistula to form. A fistula is an opening on the gum that develops from chronic abscesses. This opening allows pus to drain from the infected tooth. As the infection drains, pain will usually subside for a short time, but the infection remains.
  3. Bacterial endocarditis. As the infection moves through the body, blood vessels could deposit bacteria into the heart. This could result in fatal consequences.
  4. Sinus infections. Roots of the upper molars are located near the sinuses. Infection from the tooth can cause pus to build up in the sinus cavity.
  5. Tooth loss. If left untreated, the abscess could penetrate the alveolar bone. The alveolar bone is the mineralized tissue contained in the jaw in which teeth are embedded. Over time, the bone loss would cause the tooth to loosen and the tooth eventually would fall out.

It is imperative to contact your dentist within two days of starting antibiotic treatment if pain and gum swelling have not started to subside. It is also important to continue taking the medication prescribed until it is gone, even if the pain and swelling subsides.

Your dentist may or may not perform the necessary root canal therapy. Usually, the dentist will contact an endodontist (a dentist who specializes in root canals) and will forward x-rays and chart notes.

Posted on behalf of Toothmasters

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