I am pretty sure I have a tooth infection. I had a cavity that was getting worse, but I didn’t have the money for a dentist. I went to the drug store and bought some of that filling material you can get there for teeth. Well, I ran out and now the tooth hurts like a mad dog and the gum has a blister on it. I have two kinds of leftover antibiotics. One is 2/3 of a bottle of penicillin. The other is a z-pack that my ex left here. Which is the right one for my tooth infection?
I’m going to be blunt because you are getting into dangerous territory here and I want you to be safe. You need to see a dentist. What you are experiencing is considered a dental emergency. The antibiotics are not going to solve this problem regardless of which one you take. All an antibiotic will do is temporarily hold the infection at bay. Once you are done with the medicines, the infection will blow up again and then your antibiotics will be even less effective.
Dental infections are different. Until a dentist gets in there and physically removes the infection, it will return with a vengeance. This is actually quite dangerous if you think about close your jaw is to your heart, lungs, and brain. Even in the 21st century, people are still dying from tooth infections.
A quick word on those filling materials you purchased. They can be very useful in certain situations, when used properly. First, they are meant to be temporary to hold you off for no more than a few days while you wait on an appointment. Second, they will only be useful if the decay is already removed. In other words, if you already had a filling and it fell out, then the temporary tooth filling will keep the space filled for a few days while you wait on your appointment.
Your decay was still there so it continued to grow into the tooth until it hit the pulp and turned into a full-blown infection.
I know you’re worried about finances. Fortunately, most dentists, especially in cases of emergencies like yours, are compassionate and will be willing to work out payment options for you. I would call around and explain your situation.
At this point, you’re looking at a root canal treatment for the bare minimum. Hopefully, the tooth can be saved and you won’t need an extraction. If you do, you’ll also need to replace the tooth to prevent your bite from shifting too much. This can lead to TMJ problems that cause you serious pain on a daily basis.
Bottom line: The faster you get to the dentist the less it will cost you and the safer you will be.
This blog is brought to you by Huntsville Dentist Dr. Steve Murphree.