Q. Swelling present even after extraction of abscessed tooth. Will antibiotics help?

Answered by
Dr. Mousam Chattopadhyay
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 19, 2021

Hi doctor,

I had an unusual feeling about a month ago. I did not think anything serious was going on. About a week ago, I began experiencing pain on the left side of my mouth. A few days later, I noticed significant swelling near my jawline under my eye. I went to a clinic and the dentist determined from the x-rays that top teeth inside my jaw had broken, so he extracted them. He also saw that a bottom tooth is decaying and will need to be removed. He said not to expect any miracles regarding the decreasing of jaw swelling. He reiterated that it would take time for the infection to leave my body. I was prescribed Cephalexin, Metronidazole, and Hydrocodone as needed. My question is, when will I begin to see the swelling go down? I am on day two of taking antibiotics. By taking the antibiotics, will this reduce the infection? Also, should the dentist have just drained the abscess? The dentist did not suture after extracting the tooth. Is it always necessary for a dentist to do this? Will the antibiotics prevent sepsis or cellulitis from occurring?



Welcome to

Yes, your concerns are genuine. There was an abscess formation due to the broken tooth in the upper jaw, so the Dentist took out the tooth and drained the abscess. This increases the effectiveness of the medication and works sooner. You need to complete the course of medication, and the swelling will subside soon. Antibiotics work against the infection, and it will be out of your system. The suture was not necessary, and an open wound helps speedy drain of the leftover abscess. You need to gargle with warm saline two to three times a day for a week along with the medication. Nothing to worry about, you will be fine. Do not skip the medication.

Have a Good Day.


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