An infected tooth is enough to keep one up all night and ruin the entire day! Did you know that, in all, there are three types of infections that threaten to stir havoc for the health of one or several teeth within the oral cavity? An infection confined to the gingival tissues is known as gum or gingival infection. The severity of this infection is determined by many factors, including inadequate removal of dental plaque or calculus and certain irritants. Another common infection that originates due to severe trauma or tooth decay targets the living pulpal tissue within the tooth.
Under normal circumstances, the body’s well prepared defense mechanism dispatches white blood cells and natural antibiotics to ward off the bacterial attack, resulting in tissue inflammation and swelling. This is more than sufficient to overcome minor dental problems without resorting to commercial antibiotics.
Unfortunately, when the pulp gets invaded by microorganisms and bacterial toxins, these natural processes do not work. Tooth abscess, also known as dental or periapical abscess is the third type of tooth infection which occurs when the infection extends from the coronal and radicular pulp to the bones that hold the tooth.
Reason For Using Medicines In Odontogenic Infections
Dental management of a majority of tooth infections is relatively uncomplicated while extremely serious cases need an infusion of drugs via the intravenous route. The symptom, which is common to, all dental infections, is pain either due to the release of toxins, or increased pressure from pus accumulation, followed by inflammation, tenderness, altered oral taste and fever.
In order to control the causative agents from spreading to other soft tissues and bony structures, medicaions are mandatory. Here is a list of medicines that can aid in relieving the infection and associated symptoms.
Non Prescription Pain Relieving Drugs
There are several analgesics available at any drug store, which can be availed without having to show a medical prescription. Some of these over the counter drugs include-
Acetaminophen is a fast acting anti-pain medication which renders noticeable results in approximately 11 minutes after intake via the oral route.
When taking alone, it temporarily subsides tooth related pain (of mild or moderate intensity), but in combination with analgesics belonging to the opioid family, paracetamol can take on severe pain too. If consumed in the recommended dose (less than 1000 mg in a single dose for adults), it does not trigger any adverse reaction. It is purchasable as Tylenol, Crocin, Panadol or Panamax.
Acetylsalicylic acid or Aspirin is both, a pain and an anti-inflammatory drug. Available under the brand name of Bayer or Anacin, this potent drug brings down the elevated body temperature and helps resolve painful gingival swelling. These changes make way for a quicker healing process. You must try to keep the frequency of this drug’s use occasional, as it is said to be linked with an increased tendency for bleeding and gastrointestinal ulcers.
Ibuprofen is another non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) which is often chosen over Aspirin, to minimize the chances of incurring any of the serious side effects. When taken in a dose of approximately 200 mg, it curtails the inflammatory process as well as the associated symptoms such as pain. Its use is contraindicated in pregnant women, patients with a history of asthma or those allergic to Aspirin.
Pain Medications Prescribed By Dental Practioner
When patients present themselves with symptoms of an abscessed tooth, their main concern is to given medication, which can suppress the unbearable pain. According to the guidelines given by American Dental Association (ADA), such cases need prescription medications known as narcotic analgesics. The most prevalent drug belonging to this category is codeine, followed by morphine.
Codeine is a trusted opiate which acts on the central nervous system and blocks the specific receptors which in turn, disables transfer of the pain signal to the brain. It is also marketed in combination with other drugs like Ibuprofen and Paracetamol. Exert caution in patients suffering from thyroid related problems or decreased blood pressure.
Antibiotic Coverage In Tooth Infections
To ensure better prognosis from an infected tooth undergoing Root canal treatment, dentists always make it a point to start a course of antibiotics. The ingredients of the antibiotic drug serve by fighting the infection causing bacterial pathogens, so as to give the affected tissue and bone an opportunity to heal completely.
This broad spectrum, oral antibiotic is regarded as one of the best alternative drug in patients who have developed an allergy or resistance towards Penicillin.
Clindamycin has the ability to target almost all oral pathogens except mycoplasma. Some of the side effects to watch out for while taking clindamycin dose include nausea, vomiting and pain in the abdominal region.
One of the medicines to be recommended for patients dealing with odontogenic infections of early onset include Cephalosporins. Both first (Cephalexin) as well as the second generation (Cefuroxime) of Cephalosporin can be put to beneficial use, but it is actually the second generation that battles with aerobic and anaerobic species of bacteria such as Staphylococcus and Streptococcus.
Flagyl, a popular brand name of Metronidazole (Nitroimidazole antibiotic) are effective against periapical and periodontal abscess plus other infections caused by bacteria. However, this may not be the drug of choice for patients with liver or nerve related ailment or blood cell disorders. Some of the adverse reactions caused by the medicine include metallic oral taste, fatigue, headache episodes, itching and dizziness.
This erythyromycin derivative is essentially a Macrolide that works as an antibiotic drug during pre and post endodontic procedures.
In patients allergic to Penicillin, this broad spectrum antibiotic can be administered, starting with 500 mg on the first day of the course and gradually lessened to 250 mg for the next 2-5 days.
Amoxycillin And Clavulanate Potassium
Marketed as Augmentin, Augmentin ES 600 and Augmentin XR, this antibiotic consists of two components, namely bacteriolytic amoxycillin and a beta lactamase enzyme inhibitor known as Clavulanate. The dual action of this antibiotic makes it a reliable choice of many dentists across the world. Although the drug is involved in drug interactions with oral contraceptives and methotrexate, it is generally considered safe for dental use.
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