Can you just take antibiotics for a toothache?

We get this question from time to time – people have a toothache and they want to avoid the root canal treatment but still save the tooth. It sounds logical – the tooth is infected, so just take antibiotics.

The problem with this approach is that the source of the infection is dead tissue inside the tooth. Since there is no blood circulation there, the antibiotics can’t reach the source, so they can never fully heal the infection. What they will do, instead, is kill off some of the bacteria, leaving some that tend to be antibiotic-resistant. When the infection comes back, as it always does, it will be more virulent than before since you have helped cultivate antibiotic-resistant strains of the infection.

For dental emergencies in Plano, Drs. Lacy and Macalik will see new patient emergencies the day you call. If you’re in pain, call, and we’ll get you in today.