Most of us have been prescribed antibiotics at some point or another, and they can be helpful in treating some bacterial infections. For other health issues, including dental problems, antibiotics are only one possible treatment.
In the case of root infections, antibiotics won’t solve the whole problem. Read more to learn why:
What is a root infection?
A root infection, or abscess, is most commonly caused by severe tooth decay. Physical trauma to the tooth can also be a culprit, such as a chip or break. Gingivitis or gum disease can also cause a root infection.
An abscess starts when the enamel, or protective coating of your tooth, opens up. Because the interior of your tooth is no longer protected, bacteria can enter the tooth’s pulp, spreading infection along with it.
How do antibiotics work?
When introduced into the body, antibiotics kill off infections and the bacteria that cause them. In the case of root infections, antibiotics are given in the form of pill or liquid and help to kill the bacteria that formed the abscess in the first place.
In the case of a root canal, an antibiotic will only kill the bacteria that is present. Antibiotics cannot regrow enamel, or reseal your teeth to protect from further infection. That is why a visit to your dentist is necessary to completely fix your infected tooth root.
How can I treat my root infection?
You cannot treat a root infection on your own. Your dentist will need to clear the infection from your tooth with a procedure known as a root canal. Root surgery can also be performed to help salvage the tooth. In a worst case scenario, your dentist may recommend removing the tooth.
Practicing good dental hygiene is the best way to avoid the formation of dental abscesses. Remember to ask your dentist if you have any questions about the management of your teeth or oral health, and be sure to contact us if you have any questions about the use of antibiotics for root infections.