Can azithromycin be used for tooth infection?

Are you aching over that painful tooth infection and wondering whether or not azithromycin is the wonder drug cure you’ve been looking for? Well, look no further as we dive head first into the world of antibiotics and how they may relate to your pearly whites.

What Is Azithromycin Anyway?

Before we start considering whether azithromycin can be used to fight tooth infections, let’s learn more about what it actually is. Azithromycin, commonly sold under the brand name Z-Pak and also known as an azalide type antibiotic, works by targeting harmful bacteria in our bodies (1). It has been used effectively in treating various types of bacterial infections such as pneumonia, strep throat, skin infections among others.

How Do Tooth Infections Work?

Now that you know what azithromycin is you’re probably asking yourself how tooth infections work. That’s why we have Dr. Wisdom Teeth here to walk us through from A-Z because nobody knows teeth better than him!

“It all starts with bacteria getting inside your tooth through little crevices caused by cavities or cracks in your enamel,” says Dr. WT (as he likes to be called).

“As these bacteria multiply within the protective pulp chamber of your affected tooth,” he continued,

“they cause inflammation which results in severe pain and discomfort often accompanied with fever.”

“So basically it’s like a warzone erupted inside my mouth?” I queried.

“Precisely!” replied Dr. WT.

Antibiotics: Wonder Cure or Just Snake Oil?

So where do antibiotics come into play with fighting off these pesky oral bacterial invaders? According to some experts including those at WebMD(2), “antibiotics are indeed really valuable tools against bacterial infections — not just dental ones but other kinds too”.

Several different classes of antibiotics can help get rid of these annoying bugs but penicillins, macrolides and tetracyclines are the most common drugs prescribed to treat a tooth infection (3).

How Effective is Azithromycin in Fighting Tooth Infections?

Now that we know how antibiotics work and which classes of antibiotics are more typically used by dentists for this purpose, let’s jump into the nitty-gritty.

“Generally speaking,” says Dr. WT,

“Azithromycin is not a first choice of antibiotic to fight dental infections since it targets different types of bacteria compared to Penicillin or Amoxicillin –hence it may be less effective.”

“But,” he continues with a glint in his eye as if there was something else he wanted to share,

“Azithromycin might still be used if other standard treatments fail”.

“It has been shown in some studies that azithromycin does have activity against anaerobic bacterial species associated with dental abscesses(4)”.

However, he also points out that “dental abscess treatment often involves draining the pus build-up from within the tooth (via what we call an ‘abscess incision and drainage’), besides just taking an antibiotic”

The Bottom Line

When you’re suffering from a wicked toothache related to inflammation caused by bacterial overgrowth –you need quick relief! Nevertheless,azithromycin may only offer up moderate efficacy when treating your angry little pulp friends compared say, penicillin, so make sure its usage is duly authorized by your trusted oral health care provider before popping those pills!

Remember next time you’re heading down to Mexico without access proper healthcare remember Mr. WT’s advice


1- Mayo Clinic Official Website –

2- WebMD Official Website –

3-Cleveland Clinic Official Website –

4-Pubmed Official website – (Zithromax as a new dental macrolide)-

For more interesting related topics, visit

Random Posts