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A female asked:

how long does a tooth abscess last? i have a hole in tooth so it's draining, and i take 500mg of amoxicillin twice a day. just started taking the antibiotics last night. when should the swelling in my gums/face go down?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Theodore Davantzis
Dentistry 40 years experience
Are : Are you being treated by a dentist or are you self medicating? The infection may never resolve without treatment, so it's tough to say how long you will be swollen for. Antibiotics alone will not solve the problem in your gums and face. If your tooth is full of food and bacteria, the toxins embedded in there are leaching out the end of the tooth... That is why you have the infection. Your tooth will either need extraction or root canal therapy, both of which need to be performed by a dentist. Make an appointment to be seen before your situation becomes worse.
Dr. Kenneth Grossman
Endodontics 44 years experience
Until treated: It takes 24-48 hrs until the antibiotic gets to the tissues and starts working to decrease swelling. However the abscess won't resolve until the tooth gets a root canal or is extracted.
Dr. Jonathan Richards
Endodontics 18 years experience
Maybe never, but...: Tooth abscesses originate from dead/diseased tissue within the bad tooth, which leads to an infection in the surrounding supporting bone (abscess). Antibiotics may temporarily reduce the abscess (usually takes no less than 48 hrs, but maybe longer), but never truly address the cause. For this you need a root canal or extraction. Some infections will not respond to antibiotics at all.

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Last updated Jan 2, 2020
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