My dentist was supposed to take impressions of my mouth this week, but we had to delay it again because my gums and mouth are still swollen after extractions. I had gum disease, and my doctor prescribed an antibiotic before and after the extractions in December. The infection was getting better, then got worse again. My dentist extended the prescription. I take ibuprofen for discomfort, but the swelling is not improving. The right side of my face is warm and feels hard. My doctor asked me to wait until late next week to see what happens, but this doesn’t feel right. How long does it take for an infection to clear so that I can get a dental bridge? I have taken extra time off work because I am embarrassed to go in without any teeth. Thank you for your help. Milton from Lansing, MI
Although Dr. Delaune would need to examine your mouth and X-rays, it sounds like the infection is not improving. It would be best if you talked to your dentist again.
What If a Mouth and Gum Infection Won’t Go Away?
When a mouth and gum infection linger, let your dentist know that the antibiotic is not working. Although a dentist may use a standard antibiotic like amoxicillin for an infection, it is ineffective for every patient. When your body does not respond to the medicine, it usually means the bacteria is resistant.
What to do next:
- Ask your dentist for a prescription for another antibiotic.
- Act quickly to avoid further inflammation and discomfort.
- Take the medication as prescribed and finish it all, even if you improve.
Your dentist can take accurate impressions of your mouth after all the swelling resolves and your gum tissue is healthy. Rushing impressions will affect your dental bridge’s fit, disrupting your bite and causing jaw pain and other TMJ symptoms.
Contact your dentist promptly for a new prescription. If your infection lingers, see a periodontist (gum specialist).
Dr. Duane Delaune of Metairie, Louisiana, sponsors this post. Read why Dr. Delaune’s patients consider him one of the best dentists in town.