When the tissue around the teeth becomes easily inflamed or irritated, the condition is known as a toothache. It is usually caused due to underlying cavities, injuries, or tooth decay.

The core of the tooth is made up of what is called pulp which contains blood vessels, nerves as well as soft tissues. When these nerves start to become inflamed or irritated, the tooth starts causing pain to the patient as the pulp is extremely sensitive and can be easily affected by bacterial growth. Minor toothaches caused due to biting into hard foods can be treated at home with the help of simple methods. In severe and prolonged cases of toothache, some antibiotics may be prescribed to the patients.

The antibiotics prescribed for toothache are usually of the penicillin class. Amoxicillin, Penicillin etc. are the most common drugs prescribed to patients. Many people are allergic to certain drugs. The patient must let the dentist know about any ongoing allergies to prevent serious complications. Also, if the drugs prescribed to the patient are similar to the drugs the patient is allergic to, the patient should inform the dentist about them as it could result in complications.

Let us try to understand these conditions.

Periodontal diseases

If the patient experiences toothache due to periodontal diseases or gum diseases, it may be possible that the infection has spread to the pulp chamber of the tooth. To eradicate the infection in the pulp chamber, certain antibiotics may be prescribed to the patient.

A gum disease slowly destroys the gum tissue and causes deterioration of the gum line. It may also be responsible for causing tooth loss if it is not treated on time. The primary cause of gum disease is poor maintenance of dental and oral hygiene. When the patient fails to properly clean the teeth and doesn’t pay attention to the warning symptoms of periodontitis, the disease starts to develop rapidly. The patient should look out for the warning signs of periodontitis like sore gums, bleeding, red and inflamed gums, etc., and should immediately visit the nearest dentist.


If the patient has a toothache due to severe injuries to the jawbone and mouth, the risk of infection prevails. Also, dentists must ensure that the patient has completely healed from the injury and that the tissues in the mouth are not inflamed or damaged. Antibiotics may also be given to promote faster healing of the mouth from the injuries since the gum tissue takes extra time for healing from severe injuries.

Also, if the teeth hurt even after a few days of the injury, it may be time to consult the dentist as it could indicate serious damage to the teeth. It could also mean that an infection is developing inside the teeth and again, antibiotics may have to be provided.

Tooth decay

When a tooth hurts due to decay, it becomes essential to receive antibiotics to prevent further bacterial growth. In tooth decay, the pulp matter of the tooth completely deteriorates and causes pain in the tooth. The remaining pulp matter and the surrounding areas around the tooth have to be cleaned with the help of an anti-septic solution. However, the risk of infection remains.

To stop the infection from developing, antibiotics have to be taken by the patient. Antibiotics kill any growing microbes or bacterial colonies from growing.


Cavities are caused by the slow and continuous growth of bacteria. This bacterial growth usually results in the development of plaque. Plaque is a film of bacteria that covers the surface of the teeth entirely. When this plaque is also not treated, it hardens in structure and eventually develops into tartar.

Tartar destroys teeth and causes various dental problems like cavities. Cavities are small holes that deepen over the course of time and eventually reach the root of the tooth and destroy it, causing the tooth to hurt. It is usually caused by bacterial and microbial build-up.

Cavities also affect the pulp chamber, so, the risk of infection remains. That is why the tooth is surgically extracted, and the area and the pulp matter are cleansed and disinfected. The patient is also provided with medications to prevent infection from developing.

Tooth extraction

When the toothache becomes too severe, it is usually a case of cavities or tooth decay. In either case, the tooth has to be removed surgically. Now surgical extraction of the tooth involves the pulling out of the tooth from its socket. This procedure is performed under the effect of a local anaesthesia as it can be quite painful.

After the procedure is completed, the patients are provided antibiotics to completely heal from the procedure and to prevent bacterial or microbial growth. Although the space near the missing tooth is cleansed with antiseptic and disinfecting solutions, it is essential to take medications to prevent infections as during healing from the surgery, the wounded gum tissue may be exposed which can cause it to develop severe infections. Antibiotics are recommended by the dentist in this case.

Commonly prescribed antibiotics

The drugs given in cases of dental accidents, infections, or toothache, are provided from the penicillin class. Also, the patient should inform the dentist about any allergies he may have to certain drugs. If the patient cannot take drugs similar to the one being prescribed, the dentist will provide alternative solutions to eradicate bacterial growth that may be causing the toothache.

Drugs like Azithromycin, Metronidazole, and, Clindamycin may be recommended. Azithromycin is effective in killing bacteria and hindering their growth. It is a non-penicillin drug and is usually recommended to patients who are allergic to penicillin drugs.

Metronidazole drugs are a class of penicillin drugs and are effective in killing bacteria. However, they are not the first choice of drug to be recommended to patients with a toothache.

Clindamycin is a drug that helps in the effective killing of a wide range of bacteria. It is the drug of choice and is usually recommended in cases of toothache and tooth infections.

Needless to say, please do not take any medication whatsoever without consulting a medical professional. If you have some trouble with your teeth, set up an appointment with your nearest dental clinic.