HomeDental Infection Treatment

Treatment for Dental Infections

Buying Antibiotic Treatment Online

If you are suffering from some form of dental or gum infection, then we may be able prescribe an appropriate antibiotic for you on an emergency basis for next day delivery or for collection from a local pharmacy. Complete our short online consultation to begin the process. Your symptoms will be assessed by one of The Online Clinic GPs.

Free Online Assessment Quick and Without Obligation

Dental Abscesses

Dental infections are caused by bacteria getting into the tooth and gum. These abscesses can be described as follows:


This type of infection is when bacteria get inside the tooth through small holes. The bacteria cause the pulp in the centre of the tooth to die and the cavity left gets infected. The infection will eventually make its way to the bone that supports the tooth and an abscess filled with pus will form around that bone.

Periodontal Abscess

This type of infection is much rarer than the periapical abscess. These types of abscesses form when the gums get infected by the bacteria in plaque. The gums will become inflamed, and a void can appear between the tooth and the gum that is very difficult to clean. An abscess will then form. The inflamed gums are known as periodontitis.


This type of infection is an inflammation of the gums around impacted or semi-erupted wisdom teeth.

In most cases, dental infections will not require antibiotics. Any pharmacological intervention is a temporising measure only. Any dental symptoms should be examined by a dentist. If you are having problems seeing a dentist immediately, then The Online Clinic may be able to help with something to manage the pain and inflammation. This does not mean that you should not make efforts to see a dentist as soon as possible.

Self Care Advice for a Dental Abscess

Food and Drink

You can reduce the pressure and pain of a dental abscess by avoiding food and drink that is too hot or too cold. We also recommend that you consume soft foods.

You should try eating on the side of your mouth not affected by the abscess.

Use of Analgesia

We would encourage the use of over-the-counter pain management medications, but these should not be used to delay getting treatment. It is essential that you see a dentist as soon as possible. If you are having problems finding an emergency dentist, then you can try the NHS 111 service.

When using any form of painkiller, it is important not to exceed the recommended dosage. Please also bear in mind that many over the counter preparations contain the same active ingredients so it is better not to use combinations of painkillers without first checking with a healthcare professional.


You should use a soft toothbrush and avoid flossing the affected tooth.

Treatment for Dental Infections

Although The Online Clinic is happy to provide emergency treatment for dental infections and abscesses, it is essential that you make an appointment with your dentist so that the actual cause of the problem can be identified and resolved. It is not wise to continue treating the symptoms with antibiotics on a long-term basis, as this can make the situation worse by failing to treat the cause.

Serious complications can occur if a dental abscess is not properly treated. We cannot emphasise strongly enough that it is essential that you see a dentist.

Antibiotic Treatments

The Online Clinic can prescribe Metronidazole, Amoxicillin or Clarithromycin to deal with dental abscesses. All treatments are prescribed by us and dispensed by our pharmacy for next day delivery or for emergency supply at a local pharmacy for same day collection. If you order before 3.30 pm Monday to Friday, then your order will arrive the next day before 1.00 pm.


Not all dental infections will meet the threshold for an antibiotic prescription. If you are in pain but antibiotics are not clinically indicated, we may be able to prescribe Diclofenac or Naproxen to help with the pain and inflammation until you can see a dentist for definitive treatment.

Antibiotic Resistance

You may have heard about antibiotic resistance. This is where antibiotic medications lose their effectiveness over time because of overuse at a personal and community level. Antibiotic prescriptions should be limited to when they are necessary. Antibiotics are not always the best way to manage dental issues.

Please read this helpful NHS leaflet on treating dental infections.

Treating Dental Infections

Reviewed by: Dr Loraine Haslam MBBS, DRCOG, DFSRH, LoC SDI, LoC IUT, MRCGP
GMC registration number: 4524038
Date: 30 October 2023
Next review: 29 October 2025
All UK registered doctors can have their registration checked on
The Medical Register at the GMC website.
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