Clindamycin for Tooth Infections: Benefits, Dosage and Side Effects

Toothache, Young Woman with Tooth Infection
Medically reviewed by Dr. Ola Tarabzuni

Key Takeaways

  • Clindamycin is a widely prescribed treatment option for dental infections.
  • It is prescribed when the infection is severe or the patient is allergic to Penicillin.
  • The tooth infection usually ends soon after completing the treatment.
  • Clindamycin is considered safe to take during breastfeeding and pregnancy.

Overview

Clindamycin is a widely prescribed antibiotic to treat dental abscesses and oral cavity infections. It is prescribed due to its effectiveness in treating tooth-related infections. 

Besides its effectiveness in treating dental abscesses, it has certain other benefits, including its uses and efficacy. Clindamycin is considered one of the most effective and standard treatments for tooth infections, including dental abscesses and cavities. It starts working in 1-2 days and shows its effects. There are some of the common digestive side effects of clindamycin experienced by patients using it. It’s not an over-the-counter medication and can only be prescribed to you in case of dental infections. 

What are the benefits of taking Clindamycin for a tooth infection?

Clindamycin is effective against various bacteria, including the Streptococcus species, which are a common cause of dental infections. It is well-known for its effectiveness; patients typically experience marked improvement within the first few days of treatment. 

Clindamycin is an alternative treatment option when penicillin-based antibiotics are ineffective or when resistance has developed to other antibiotics, thereby lowering the risk of antibiotic resistance. 

Clindamycin is an antibiotic in the lincosamide class that kills bacteria by blocking their ability to make proteins. The mechanism by which clindamycin works makes it effective against many different types of bacteria, including streptococci, staphylococci, and anaerobic bacteria that commonly cause tooth infections. Some of the important and initial benefits of clindamycin uses are : 

  1. Effective Against Resistant Bacteria

In some cases, tooth infections may be caused by bacteria that are resistant to other commonly prescribed antibiotics. Clindamycin, however, has demonstrated effectiveness against antibiotic-resistant strains, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

  1. Excellent Tissue Penetration

Clindamycin’s ability to reach deep into the affected tissues is a major benefit. Infections in teeth can spread to the gums, bones, and even the soft tissues of the face. Because of its superior tissue penetration, clindamycin effectively treats these infection sites and speeds up healing.

  1. Reduced Inflammation and Pain

Inflammation and pain caused by tooth infections can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. Clindamycin can reduce these symptoms by eliminating the source of the infection. Its effective management allows patients to feel better and return to normal routines.

  1. Prevents the spread of infection

Clindamycin also effectively reduces the spread of an infection from one part to another. Due to this benefit, it is often preferred over other antibiotics for a number of infections. 

Get a clindamycin prescription for tooth infection from our doctors online!

How long does Clindamycin take to work for bacterial infection?

Patients usually feel better within 72 hours of starting the initial treatment. However, the length of time that clindamycin takes to work can vary depending on the severity of the infection and the individual’s response. Even if your symptoms improve before the end of your antibiotic treatment, you should still take all of your pills as directed by your dentist.

What is Clindamycin dosing for dental infection?

The initial Clindamycin dose for adults is 300–600 mg every 8 hours. Dosing time, frequency, and dose are also dependent on the age and severity of the dental infection. It’s always recommended to complete the dosage and dose for the prescribed period to completely treat the disease and avoid the development of antibiotic resistance.

What are the possible side effects of using Clindamycin?

Clindamycin is classified under pregnancy category B drugs and is considered safe to use in pregnancy or while breastfeeding. However, normally, it may have the following side effects that can vary from person to person: 

Once treatment is finished, these side effects typically disappear. However, if you experience severe or ongoing discomfort, you should immediately see your dentist or doctor. 

In the case of a clindamycin allergy, the most prominent symptoms will be : 

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis shock is possible with clindamycin and can be life-threatening. Anaphylactic reactions to clindamycin are uncommon, but if you notice any of the symptoms, seek immediate professional help. 

What other medications can be used for tooth infection?

Some of the other medications used for tooth infection can be : 

The right and well-suited medications can only be determined by your healthcare providers after a brief discussion of your symptoms and consultation with your healthcare provider.

Tooth infection can be very troubling and needs consultation for appropriate diagnosis!

Consult a doctor

Clindamycin is considered one of the best options for treating teeth-related infections due to its effectiveness and limited side effects. For an accurate diagnosis and treatment of tooth-related infections, get connected with an online doctor.

FAQs about Clindamycin for tooth infections

Is clindamycin a penicillin?

No, clindamycin does not belong to the penicillin class of antibiotics. It belongs to the class of antibiotics known as lincosamides.

How long do clindamycin side effects last?

Clindamycin side effects mostly end as soon as the treatment ends. However, some side effects may last for a couple of days. Seek medical attention if your side effects do not go away.

Does clindamycin make you tired?

Clindamycin rarely causes tiredness or drowsiness. However, you should see a doctor if you find yourself excessively fatigued or if you have any other concerning symptoms.

How many days should you take clindamycin 300 mg?

The ideal time period is between 7 and 14 days, but your dentist will decide. Clindamycin treatment duration is conditional on the seriousness of the infection being treated.

What happens if you don’t eat with clindamycin?

Clindamycin may cause gastrointestinal distress if taken on an empty stomach. Clindamycin side effects can be reduced if you take the drug with food.

Your Doctors Online uses high-quality and trustworthy sources to ensure content accuracy and reliability. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and medical associations to provide up-to-date and evidence-based information to the users.

  • Arteagoitia I, Sánchez FR, Figueras A, Arroyo-Lamas N. Is clindamycin effective in preventing infectious complications after oral surgery? Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Clin Oral Investig. 2022 Jun;26(6):4467-4478. doi: 10.1007/s00784-022-04411-2. Epub 2022 Mar 2. PMID: 35235059; PMCID: PMC9203405.
  • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Anaphylaxis
  • Avdic, Edina, and Paul A Pham. “Clindamycin.” Johns Hopkins ABX Guide, The Johns Hopkins University, 2018. Johns Hopkins Guides, www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540131/all/Clindamycin.
  • Dar-Odeh NS, Abu-Hammad OA, Al-Omiri MK, Khraisat AS, Shehabi AA. Antibiotic prescribing practices by dentists: a review. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2010 Jul 21;6:301-6. doi: 10.2147/tcrm.s9736. PMID: 20668712; PMCID: PMC2909496.
  • Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed®) [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; 2006-. Clindamycin. [Updated 2021 Feb 15]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501208/
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What is C. diff?

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