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Mark Bornfeld, DDS
Mark Bornfeld, DDS, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 5989
Experience:  Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
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can i take a zpack for tooth infection

Resolved Question:

can i take a zpack for tooth infection
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 5 years ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer, and thank you for putting your trust in me!

Azithromycin (Zithromax) is a reasonable alternative to one of the penicillin-class drugs, as long as you understand that it will not cure the infection. Antibiotics can at best play an adjunctive role in the treatment of infection, and resolution of the infection almost always requires surgical management (e.g., extraction, root canal therapy, incision and drainage, or periodontal therapy, as appropriate to the type of infection).

Hope this helps...
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
so do i need to take the medication if it's not going to clear it up> it seems better than two days ago i've been gargling with salt water.. if it feels better tomorrow can i forego the antibiotics. i guess i was afraid of osteomylitis or something
Expert:  replied 5 years ago.
Because this forum does not allow me to assess the severity of your infection, I cannot judge whether antibiotics are necessary in your case. Please keep in mind that regardless of the fact that antibiotics alone cannot cure dental infection, it does not logically follow that antibiotics are always unnecessary. In point of fact, your dentist has me at a disadvantage, as she has had the opportunity to assess your infection, and she chose to give you antibiotics.

Having said that, the improving trend you have experienced in the past two days without antibiotics does beg the question of whether antibiotics are unnecessary in your case. Historically, doctors have over-prescribed and inappropriately prescribed antibiotics, to the point where bacterial populations have developed resistance to them. This is a serious problem, because doctors are having increasing difficulty in controlling serious infections as a result of this phenomenon. In fact the federal Centers for Disease Control has an initiative to educate doctors and consumers when antibiotics are appropriate, and when they're not. See:

In light of the improvement in your symptoms of infection, it may be advantageous for you to contact your dentist to verify whether the antibiotics she prescribed are really necessary. Giving antibiotics "just to be safe" is not really making you any safer, and may even be exposing you to unnecessary risk. While I don't want to second-guess your dentist, this matter does warrant a follow-up query to her.

Hope this helps. If my answer has been helpful, please remember to click "accept".
Good luck!
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