Clindamycin for Tooth Infection

Tooth Abscess

One of the most common medical complaints that bother many people, kids being the most vulnerable group, is the problem of tooth infection. One common infection of the tooth is what is known as tooth abscess. It is characterized by the collection of pus in the inner part of the tooth, due to a bacterial infection. This problem occurs when bacteria finds way into the inner regions of the tooth. And this happens when the affected tooth incurs a damage that cracks or chips it, or due to an untreated dental cavity. A tooth infection, may seem mild initially, but with time it may take such a serious form that it may even turn into a life-threatening complication. The main aim of the treatment is to drain the pus; which could be done with the help of a root canal, or by extraction of the infected tooth. And if the infection has spread to the nearby teeth, then antibiotics may be prescribed. And one effective and commonly prescribed antibiotic for treating tooth infection is what we are discussing here today – Clindamycin. According to experts, this drug has an absorption rate of 90% thus, it goes deep into the soft tissues and the bone in the body. To add to this, using clindamycin is more suitable for patients who may have allergic responses to antibiotics such as Penicillin. More on this follows…

Treating Tooth Infection with Clindamycin

To begin with, we would know about the working of the antibiotic, its recommended dosage, possible side effects, and precautions to follow before using the medication.

One of the basic necessities of pathogens such as bacteria to grow and multiply in the host is their ability to make certain proteins known as ribosomes. So what clindamycin does is, it keeps the bacteria from making such proteins. So, as the treatment continues, the drug causes a total shut down of the multiplication of the pathogens. Thus getting rid of the infection completely.

Recommended Dosage
The drug is usually recommended in the form of capsules or injections. So for each of these types, the dosage of clindamycin may vary. (Note that the following dosages are applicable to adults. In case of children, the dosages may vary depending upon the weight.)

For Capsules:

Dosage (mg) Frequency Maximum Dosage (mg)
150 – 450 Every 6 hours 1800 per day

For Injections:

Dosage (mg) Frequency Maximum Dosage (mg)
1200 – 2700 2 – 4 smaller doses a day 4800 per day

One important fact regarding the dosage of this antibiotic is that, it may vary from person to person depending upon certain factors. These may include:

  • The severity of the infection
  • Response of the body to the medication
  • The type of clindamycin that is being used
  • If the patient is already on some other kind of medications
  • If the patient is suffering from other medical conditions

Possible Side Effects
Clindamycin proves not only highly effective in treating tooth infection, but tolerable for most people, as well. However, there are a few side effects that may occur. It is common for the patient to experience nausea/vomiting, diarrhea and pain in the abdominal region. There might also occur skin rashes, yeast infections, and the patient might have a metallic taste in the mouth.

One important precaution that a patient must exercise before taking Clindamycin, is about informing the health care provider about his/her medical history. It is essential for the caregiver to know if the patient has any kind of liver disease, problems of the kidneys, gastrointestinal disease, yeast infections, and allergic reactions; or a history of all these problems. More important is to inform the care giver if the patient is expecting or is a nursing mother.

To conclude with a disclaimer, it is important to know that the information presented in the above article is solely meant for educational purpose. And in no way, the data means to substitute a dentist’s recommendations or advice. Take care!


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