How Long Does it Take for Amoxicillin to Work on a Toothache?


Since amoxicillin is an antibiotic, not a pain reliever, it is important to first determine the cause of the toothache 12. There are many potential reasons for a tooth to cause:

  • pain
  • including a cracked tooth
  • gum disease
  • an abscess
  • impaction
  • eruption
  • muscle spasms 3

The most common cause of a toothache is a dental cavity 2. When you first notice a toothache, go to a dentist, since if the cause of the toothache is bacterial, you'll want to get the proper medication before the infection spreads 2. A dentist may even determine that the toothache is related to an ear infection, sinus problem or heart disease as opposed to being related to the tooth or the jaw 2. The reason that dentists often prescribe an antibiotic when a toothache occurs is because many toothache-causing conditions can be exacerbated by the good and bad bacteria in the mouth 2. Since treatment isn't always an immediate option, the risk of infection must be kept at bay until treatment can occur.

How Amoxicillin Works

Antibiotics for an Infected Tooth

Learn More

Amoxicillin is an antibiotic in the same family of penicillin, and is prescribed to treat infections caused by bacteria 1. Amoxicillin is a disrupter of the cell wall creation of bacteria, destroying the bacteria's ability to make certain bonds occur 1. This leads to holes in the walls of the bacteria and cell death shortly thereafter. The medication usually takes around three days to start working on a toothache 2. This is how long it takes for enough amoxicillin to build up to attack the bacteria causing the tooth pain 1. There is some general worry about the use of antibiotics leading to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, so consult your doctor if this is a concern of yours.

There are three main goals when it comes to treating a toothache: cure any infections, preserve the tooth and prevent any possible complications 2. If the tooth is too severely infected, it may need to be removed immediately and any infection may have to be removed surgically. There is a chance that amoxicillin won't work due to resistant bacteria or because the bacteria has spread too far already 1. If the bacteria spread, they can infect the soft tissue, the jaw bone or other parts of the body. This is why you must act quickly on a toothache and treat with amoxicillin or some other antibiotic, and monitor the tooth to ensure that it is improving 12.