Tooth pain: antibiotic not working yet!

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So about 4 days ago I started to get this shooting pain in my jaw on and off, at first I thought it was my jaw that got hurt somehow, because when I pressed on each tooth bone hurts. But then 2 days later it progress to a throbbing pain from one of my upper right tooth, and it hurts like hell when I touch the tooth (even slightly touch!). I went to doctor as the closest dentist appointment available is a week away. The doctor saw my gum is red but not really swollen, she prescribed metronidazole (Flagyl) 400mg, 3 times a day, as I'm allergic to penicillin so she didn't give me amoxicillin. And I'm taking panadol for the pain. The panadol is working a little but the pain is never completely gone. I start taking the antibiotic last night, but I dont yet feel any relief, not sure how long does the antibiotic take to work but it hurts so bad, especially when I eat or when I sleep, the pain is almost unbearable sad

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  • Posted

    Antibiotitcs dont work for tooth pain
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    • Posted

      Yeah I know, I'm just curious as to how long will the antibiotic take effect in reducing the infection which caused the pain in the first place. The Flagyl I'm prescribed with is for 7 days.

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    • Posted

      Ummm....yes they do Rocky....bc 90% the pain is from infection! I know from SEVERAL personal experiences! It is a good idea to take a 7 day regimine of the antibiotic...amoxicillin is best for me...chances are your dentist may call a script in then make an appointment to have them repaired/pulled. 7 days?! Seems long but that antibiotic works quick if taking as prescribed..mostly 4-5x day.
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  • Posted

    Hi Kerry you say you take Panadol for the pain. Can you take ibuprofen? That should work better as it's an anti-inflammatory so should cut down the inflammation that's with the infection. You can safely take both Panadol and ibuprofen simultaneously. As for the antibiotics, I think it's usually a couple of days before they have a noticeable effect. Good luck and hope you feel better soon.

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  • Posted

    Kerry, it sounds as if you have a dental abscess (the throbbing pain is a giveaway) and antibiotics will not cure an abscess. The idea is to provide antibiotic cover for a few days before a dentist either extracts the tooth or drains the abscess. Your doctor was right to provide antibiotics etc. but should also have told you to make an appointment with a dentist asap.
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    • Posted

      Hi Lily just wondering if the reason for antibiotics is to prevent the infection from spreading further? Kerry says she has to wait a week for a dental appointment so hopefully she will have the source treated then
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    • Posted

      Partly that Kitty, but also because it's not safe to perform any kind of surgery - dental or otherwise - in the presence of an abscess. The reason for this is that the infection could get into the wound created by the extraction or whatever and cause sepsis.

      And yes, you're right - I didn't spot that Kerry had said she had an appt for a week from now. That will probably be OK, though it's possible the dentist might want to start her on another short course of antibiotics, just to cover the extraction.

      Antibiotics generally lessen the pain, but it's possible the infection isn't actually susceptible to the antibiotic Kerry's been prescribed. I see she can't have amoxycillin, which is the usual staple. In that case, the dentist might advise another antibiotic.

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  • Posted

    Kerry, further to my earlier reply - I'm sorry, I didn't spot that you already had a dental appointment. The metronidazole should lessen the pain but the effect won't be immediate. I see you only started taking it last night.

    Kitty may be right about taking ibuprofen (Nurofen). Panadol has no effect on some people - including me. As long as you don't have any existing stomach problems like an ulcer and you take the ibuprofen with something to eat (and within the recommended dose) it might be worth trying.

    If the pain is increasing after a few days and you have visible swelling of your face, it might be worth going to A&E, but only in a major hospital where they're likely to have a dentist on call, and not outside of office hours.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the advice. Yes I do have a dentist appointment next week. I don't have stomach ulcers but I do usually have acid reflux, and the metronidazole is causing me to feel nausea and wanted to vomit even I do take it with food (although to be honest I eat very little due to the tooth pain). Last night the tooth pain wasn't too bad as I took 2 tablets of panadol (where I normally takes just 1), but my stomach felt horrible, keep wanting to vomit but I kept holding back as I don't want to vomit up the medications.

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    • Posted

      This morning the pain has lessen a little, probably due to panadol. But I think the metro is working as well, as yesterday even with panadol it hurts when I swallow, as the tongue would touch the tooth that hurts. This morning I can swallow food without too much pain even with the tongue touching the affected tooth. So finally I was able to properly eat something after 4 days... sigh...
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    • Posted

      Glad to hear you're feeling better Kerry. The dentist will sort all this out for you. Sorry about the reference to "A&E", I thought you were in the UK. If it's morning now where you are I'm guessing you're on the east coast of the USA - in which case it would be ER.

      Get well soon! I'm off to bed now.cheesygrin

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    • Posted

      I sympathise Re the metronidazole. It makes me feel awful. I had a course after an op recently. After the course was finished the side effects soon wore off and it's generally an extremely effective antibiotic, according to my surgeon.

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    • Posted

      Lol thanks, I'm from Australia, we do have emergency dentist here, but again it does cost a lot more than normal dental appointment. My doctor said that even if I do go to the emergency dentist, all they can do is give me antibiotic and wait for the infection and inflammation to settle down before they can do anything anyways, maybe they can take some X-ray to pinpoint the problem but she say its better to wait till the infection is settled before seeing a dentist.

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    • Posted

      I've never taken metro before, I hardly takes antibiotics unless really necessary, I lean more towards the natural supplements type of treatment if possible, but this tooth pain is just too much for me to handle, so I decide to take antibiotics. I was feeling really tired aswell since on metro which I learned was another side effect of the med (however could also be due to the panadol). My doctor said that metro is normally prescribed for dental pain when you are allergic to penicillin and can't take amoxicillin. I might need to start taking Nexium to help settle the stomach.

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  • Posted

    Hey guys, an update:

    I went to my dentist after my antibiotic finished, she took two X-rays on the tooth (it was the one that had a white-filling done few years ago). However she wasn't able to see any abscess, decay or cavities, nothing really abnormal with the tooth through the X-rays. So she suspect it might be leak filling to the nerve causing the pain. And because the pain had gotten much better after the antibiotic, she gave me 3 choices: one is to continue another week of antibiotic, second is to do a root canal, third is tooth extraction. At the moment there is no pain if I don't bite down, but if I bite or chew then it feels kind of stiff, little sore and tightness feel instead of the shooting pain I felt before, I'm not taking any pain meds either. The tooth is not reacting to hot or cold temp either, but it did felt a bit sore when she tapped on it. And when I exercise it tend to throb (along with heartbeat), a painless throb to be exact, but it does feels quite weird.

    No swellings on the face or on gum, no fever etc. so to be honest I have no idea what's going on, so I opt for another week of antibiotic since I have an important meeting this week. Will see how things goes, at the moment I'm doing sea salt gargles daily and is seeing a little improvements. Hopefully it heals fine and I don't need root canals or extraction, as I've heard many bad side effects with them.

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    • Posted

      Glad to hear you're feeling better Kerry. I had something similar once. I suspect that get the throbbing sensation when you exercise means this isn't going to go away. Still, you'll be fine in the short term with another course of antibiotics, after which you can reassess the situation.

      In my case I ended up having a botched root canal, followed by months of pain, at the end of which I got a much worse abscess and the tooth had to removed anyway. I hope you have better luck!

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    • Posted

      No. It took an unbelievable 10 years! During that time I had endless attacks of sinusitis on that side of my face as well as recurring toothache and general discomfort.

      To be fair, I think my case was unusual. The dentist gave me the X-rays to show to an ENT doctor (they had the kind of X-ray you could carry around in those days) and the ENT said he'd never seen anything like it. The tooth itself - a second upper molar - was entirely healthy, but there'd been an infection in the root all that time. Unfortunately it had started out in the inside root, which isn't visible on normal X-rays. It wasn't till it had completely destroyed the inside root that it started attacking one of the two outer, visible roots.

      However, if your problem is with a front tooth, where the entire root is visible, I doubt whether you have the same problem. Hope not anyway, for your sake!

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    • Posted

      Mine is on my right side second upper molar too! But wow 10 years!

      The dentist did mention that there might be tiny decay which are not visible on X-rays , but then I wonder if such tiny decay can cause that amount of pain. The reason she said it might also be leaked fillings is because she realize the filling I have now is quite deep and close to the nerve (not touching but very close), but I forgot to ask if leaked fillings will show up in X-ray or not. I have 5 more days of antibiotics to go, but at least I know there's no abscess under that tooth (I'd assume that should be easily seen under X-ray), so hopefully it will clear up soon.

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    • Posted

      I hope you'll have a better outcome than I did. The problem with these tiny, invisible bits of decay is that they can cause pretty massive damage by the time they come to light.

      I'm not an expert, but I suspect an abscess around the invisible inside root of a molar wouldn't necessarily be spotted on X-ray. The reason for saying that is that my 2-3 annual attacks of toothache during the 10 years I talked about always produced all the symptoms of an abscess - extreme, throbbing pain, inability to touch the tooth even with my tongue etc. Yet I consulted five dentists in two countries in that time, two of them repeatedly, they all X-rayed me every time, and all told me there was nothing wrong.

      I'm not saying the same thing is happening to you. However, if you get any repetition of this, I'd advise seeing a stomatologist or maxillofacial surgeon (called an oral surgeon in the US, I believe).

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