Will antibiotics help my tooth infection?

Dr. Hurley,

About four years ago, I had a root canal. I never had the cap or filling put in, because I lost my job. Since then, I’ve been using a store bought filling. There have been times I’ve gone without the filling for a few days or so, and now it feels like I have an infections. Can you tell me what antibiotics I can take to get rid of the infection? I don’t want to go to the dentist if I don’t have to.

Troy from Lansing

Troy,

Avoid taking antibiotics until you see a dentist. And you really do need to see a dentist for this. It’s possible that you may not need antibiotics for your tooth infection.

When a tooth is extracted, that normally eliminates the entire source of the infection, so it should go away.

Antibiotics are very helpful, but if they are taken excessively, they will breed bacteria. And these bacteria will be resistant to the antibiotics, which will interfere with treatment if not used correctly.

Read more about preventative dental care here on my website.