What if I don't take the antibiotics?

Here’s my situation: In January I got a bad toothache. I went to my dentist and had an X-ray taken of my tooth and it showed nothing wrong with it. Since neither of us wanted to drill without knowing the problem, my dentist prescribed antibiotics and I went on my way. I was instructed to come back if the pain continued. During the course of antibiotics the pain came and went, but it was manageable with Advil. A week or two after I finished the antibiotics, I got a yeast infection. Since I have never had one before, I blamed it on the antibiotics since they are known to cause yeast overgrowth.

In the time since, the pain has been absent save a few flare ups. Two days ago the severe pain returned with a vengeance. I went back to the dentist today and she drilled in to relieve pressure. I am scheduled for a root canal next week. She also prescribed antibiotics to get rid of any infection. After that yeast infection I am hesitant to take more antibiotics. My dentist was pretty insistent that I take the antibiotics, what is the worst that could happen if I don’t take them?

Let’s just say I really, really, really don’t want another yeast infection.

Welllll…the nerve that serves the tooth and runs along the jaw could get infected 7 die. The infection could then continue on into your face and cause permanent “Joker-like” paralysis and some tissue loss which may require you to carry a small bucket with you to catch the drool that now flows freely from your gaping maw… Get some monostat & take the drugz!

Suffice it to say no matter how little you want another yeast infection, you want a cardiac or blood infection less.

Take the antibiotics and have plain yogurt on hand.

:Hangs head: OK, I’ll go get the prescription filled, and take them. The yogurt comment - funny thing, when I got my yeast infection I was doing research on the Web, and one site said to freeze the yogurt on an empty tampon applicator freeze it, and, uh, use it like a yogurt tampon. I love yogurt, but I think I’ll stick to Monistat for that.

I’m fairly sure she meant for the yogurt to go in the other end, babe.

You might try acidophilus tablets to prevent yeast nfections. I’ve never tried them, but some people swear by them. You can buy them in health food stores and some pharmacies. Don’t blow off the antibiotics! My oral surgeon refused to work on my teeth at all until the swellling and infection were gone. Not fun.

I think the big fear is that the bacteria growing in your tooth will steadily download into your blood and put up shop on one of your heart valves.
And that’s a shop that will definitely stop traffic.

You can get an oral medication that will kill the yeast overgrowth, as well. I believe it’s called Diflucan. Tell your dentist about your yeast problem and ask for a prescription for the diflucan, too.

I have read about the yogurt tampon thing before (and, no, you really DO use it like a tampon - as weird as that sounds) and I know people who swear by unsweetened yogurt (or sweetened with non-caloric sweetener as sugar encourages yeast growth) but I think taking an oral probiotic (acidophilus, or better yet, a combination of several) would probably take care of things as well. Ask someone at a health food or supplements store and I’m sure they can point you in the right direction.

That is people who swear by EATING unsweetened yogurt… :o

The bacteria could also go on to infect the bone surrounding the tooth - and chronic osteomyelitis is very hard to treat. You could end up losing a part of your jaw if this happened! So take the antibiotics, and deal with any subsequent yeast infections later.

Well, the weird thing is that my dentist didn’t sound absolutely sure there even was an infection. There is something causing me to have tooth pain, and has caused me pain since January. The first course of antibiotics didn’t take care of that infection, I was in pain through and after taking the whole bottle. So if it is an infection, I’ve had it for 3 months.

I feel that antibiotics are over prescribed, and I would rather not take them unless it is absolutely necessary. I am taking them now, and I did get the acidophilus, I just don’t really like them. What do people who are allergic to them take as an alternative?

Isn’t that what the Jimmy Smitts character in NYPD Blue died from?

“I feel that antibiotics are over prescribed” But what does whether or not antibiotics are over prescribed in general have to do with your particular situation?

“and I would rather not take them unless it is absolutely necessary.” You and almost everyone else.

“I just don’t really like them. What do people who are allergic to them take as an alternative?” There are lots of antibiotics and not that many people are truly allergic to more than a few of them. In some cases, people with allergies can be rapidly desensitized to an antibiotic and then treated with it.

“The first course of antibiotics didn’t take care of that infection, I was in pain through and after taking the whole bottle.” Antibiotics don’t actually cure infections by themselves. They just make life so tough for bacteria that the body’s defenses can finish them off. But your body is very poor at fighting off infections in tissue without a blood supply so when you have an abscess (a pus pocket) the antibiotics are just used to control the spread of the infection until you can get the abscess drained and the space where the abscess was closed up. Evidently you have a dental abscess which will be cleaned out and closed up in a procedure called a root canal.

Eat the yoghurt–make sure it’s a “contains active cultures” variety. As for sweetened vs. unflavored–the unflavored yoghurt makes a good dip or dip base. It’s a good alternative to sour cream.

I always, without fail, get the same reaction when taking an antibiotic.

Since I’ve stopped eating sugar, I notice my yeast infections go away alot quicker. I always make sure I eat Dannon Plain Yogurt (with fruit and Splenda) every day during a course of antibiotics. If I get a yeast infection at all, it’s short-lived.

My mom was told by her doctor to take acidophilous when she was prescribed an antibiotic.

My own gyn told me to take the powdered kind (usually found in the refridgerated section of your local health food store - those things are alive!) rather than a capsule because of better results. I just mixed it with water and chugged it.

Oh, and I have also heard about putting the yogurt directly on the “problem area” but you may be more comfortable with Monistat :slight_smile:

I’d much rather get a yeast infection than a deadly blood virus. Ick.

One more pro-antibiotic comment for those who aren’t inclined to think about the long-term effects of tooth infection: if you have an active infection in or around your tooth, the local anesthetic may be rendered at least partially ineffective. This means you and your dentist might end up discovering during the course of an excruciatingly painful dental procedure that your mouth isn’t entirely numb.

I know whereof I speak.

The most common reason for pain in an otherwise, whole tooth, is infection. The pain is caused by swelling around the root.
If the first antibiotic didn’t relieve the pain it may have been because not all antibiotics kill all bacteria. There are many bacteria that cause tooth infections, so it often happens that one must take one or more antibiotics before its taken care of.
You are correct that antibiotics are over used. That happens most often when people go to the doctor for a viral illness, and insist on some kind of treatment. . Viral infections don’t respond to antibiotics.
Tooth infections are very rarely, if ever, viral.
The circulation around the teeth is closely linked to the heart. Allowing the infection to spread to the heart can cause several illnesses. Some are fatal.
Take the antibiotics and treat the yeast infection if it appears. Not all antibiotics allow yeast over growth, so a different antibiotic may not cause the same problem.

As far as allergies to antibiotics. One won’t be allergic to all antibiotics. the newer ones haven’t caused the problems that older types did.

Good luck. I know tooth pain is horrible.

Antibiotics have been overprescribed, yes, but doctors are now more sensitive about this issue.

I’ve got an abcessed tooth that I’m getting pulled on Monday, and my dentist prescribed some antibiotics to help fight the infection. By alleviating the infection, the pain will decrease. I’ve been on the antibiotic since Wednesday, and already I’ve noticed that the pain is not nearly so bad, though I’m still pretty grumpy.

As it happens, I’m allergic to at least three types of antibiotics, penicillin, Levaquin, and Cleomycin. However, I can take other types of antibiotics, and I know that I can take Erythromycin, for example. That’s what I’m currently taking. It goes through my gut bacteria like a hungry teenage boy going through a pizza buffet, and I already have the first twinges of a yeast infection, but it’s a good general antibiotic, I know I can take it, it doesn’t upset my stomach, and it’s VERY cheap (I paid less than US$3 for a bottle of 32 pills). There are other antibiotics I can take as well, including sulfa drugs, but most of the time doctors will prescribe Erythromycin for me.

I know what symptoms I’m likely to have if I have an allergic reaction to an antibiotic, and I keep Benadryl in the house at all times. I also know that I can develop an allergy to an antibiotic that I’ve previously been able to take. Each time I take an antibiotic, I’m taking the chance that I’ll become allergic to it. However, I can discuss this with my doctor and we can decide whether the benefit outweighs the risk. Usually, it does.

I cope with this by making sure that all of my doctors and my drugstore know that I’m allergic to these medications. Since I take quite a few meds each day, I keep a file on my computer that lists what I take, how often, and how much. I keep this updated, and every time I go to the doctor I print out a new copy, if it’s changed. I also have a file that has my brief medical history (allergies, when I was diagnosed as a diabetic, surgeries, etc.) that I print out when I see a new doctor. Every doctor has been appreciative of this.

I’ve been dealing with the same low-grade sinus infection for going on three years. So, tis possible. Antibiotics subdue it for a while but they don’t ever kill it. On the bright side, I have this nastiness in my sinuses, but I’ve stopped getting strep again after having had it every six months or so for 7 or 8 years. :smiley: