The Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance

The Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance

Hopefully you’re all smiling but we know there can be times when something unexpected happens and it can wipe that smile away.

If that “something unexpected” leaves you with a dental emergency then we can help.

Now, when it comes to a lost filling or a loose crown, we understand how frustrating it can be. We want to help as quickly as we can and will always make every effort to get you an appointment to deal with that type of problem.

However, a true dental emergency is something a little different. We are looking at situations where someone has swelling or experienced trauma; a fall which has damaged their teeth or mouth perhaps. In these cases, we always aim to identify the signs and symptoms first. This allows us to ensure you have an appropriate appointment arranged. In the case of a true dental emergency, we will see you within 24 hours. We have dedicated emergency slots throughout the week to help us make a commitment to see you as soon as we possibly can.

In many cases, we receive calls or have face-to-face requests for antibiotics. It is important to understand that we will only prescribe antibiotics where it is appropriate to do so.

Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats facing the world today.

Unlike many things in medicine, antibiotics work less effectively the more often they are taken.

Be aware that antibiotics are not always the best way to manage toothache and dental infection.

A failure to address the problem of antibiotic resistance could result in an estimated 10 million deaths globally by 2050 and with a cost of £66 trillion in lost productivity…no small issue we are sure you’ll agree.


So, Can you have antibiotics for toothache?

Firstly, it’s important to know that toothache can be caused by many things such as;

  • Tooth decay
  • Broken teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Abscesses or infections
  • Jaw problems


Your dentist will decide whether antibiotics are appropriate for your dental problem.

  • Antibiotics on their own do not remove the infection or stop pain. Dental treatment is usually needed as well.
  • Antibiotics, like other medicines, can also have side-effects so won’t be prescribed unless absolutely necessary.


How is toothache treated?

  • A dentist needs to examine your mouth and decide the cause of the pain.
  • Dental treatment may then be needed, such as fillings, root treatment or sometimes extraction of the tooth.
  • Painkillers can help – paracetamol and, if you can safely take it, ibuprofen. Both can be bought from pharmacies.
  • Always read the patient information leaflet and check it is safe for you to take either medicine. You can ask your pharmacist for advice.


Contact us or call NHS24 on 111 if any of the following occur:

  • You develop a fever over 102°F (38°C).
  • You develop redness and swelling of your face, jaw or neck.
  • You are unable to open your mouth.
  • You have severe pain uncontrolled by pain medicine.
  • You have difficulty swallowing.
  • Your dentist will advise you on the most appropriate treatment for you.


We will always be here to help and advise you so please don’t hesitate to contact us. All we ask is that you remember everything you have just read and trust us to do what is right for you.

P.S. A great tip if you do lose a filling and need a quick, short-term fix…ask us or your local pharmacy about temporary dental repair kits. They are what they say (temporary) but they’re great to have or to take on holiday “just incase”. We will always do our best to see you quickly but true emergencies must come first.

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