how long does penicillin take to work on tooth infection

Antibiotics like Penicillin begin working almost immediately within a few hours of the first dose.

For severe tooth infections, you might not feel better for three days or more. Penicillin and similar antibiotics are usually taken for 1 to 2 weeks. You are most likely to get better after antibiotic treatment.

While you may not actually “feel” the changes happening almost immediately, the drug works to fight the infection as soon as it enters your body. Some people respond quickly to their initial doses while others do not notice helpful changes until they finish the prescribed period for treatment.

However, there is no real time-frame for antibiotics to treat the infection. The prognosis depends on four factors:

Initial Diagnosis

Some dentists do not prescribe antibiotics until they show signs of systemic infection, like a fever. Instead, they clean out infected material within the root canal or do the tooth extraction to stop the infection.

The severity of the Infection

For severe infections, you may have to wait for at least a week to feel better. Here are signs of a severe tooth infection that require antibiotics or an urgent trip to the emergency room:

  • facial swelling
  • fever
  • sensitivity to hot or cold food/beverages
  • sensitivity to pressure
  • a severe toothache
  • swollen lymph nodes (jaw/neck area)

Immune System

Your body’s immune system plays a major role in your recovery process.

When your immune system is weak, you are susceptible to all types of infections.  On the other hand, a healthy immune system can greatly improve your body’s ability to fight tooth infections and reduce its risks.

Before bacteria can multiply and cause symptoms, your immune system would destroy them. Even if symptoms still occur, your body can cope and fight off the infection. When harmful bacteria enter your root canal and multiply, your immune system helps defend your body against these bacteria and speeds up the healing process. However, if the bacteria are strong and excessive, your body may need reinforcement-in the form of antibacterial drugs, also known as antibiotics.

Compliance to treatment: Follow the treatment regimen, take your antibiotics on time and within the prescribed period and follow the dentists’ advice on your oral health. You may get even sicker when you don’t follow the advice of your dentist.

What is Penicillin?

Penicillins refer to a group of antibacterial drugs used to treat infections such as:

  • endocarditis
  • pneumonia
  • arthritis
  • neurosyphilis
  • actinomycosis
  • other types of infections

Penicillins are antibiotics commonly used to help treat tooth infections. They destroy or slow down the growth of bacteria in your oral cavity. It is also a drug of choice to treat infections of people in the ER who have alcohol in their system. Unlike other antibiotics, penicillins do not have severe reactions with alcohol.

However, many people are allergic to this drug. It is advisable to inform your dentist about your allergies to make sure that you will receive the right antibiotics for your tooth infections.

Author: Peter Mayhew

Peter is a dental hygienist in the city of Chicago, IL. In his free time he likes to write blogs and product reviews on anything dental health related.