Simple Steps To Better Dental Health
space placeholder
Featuring consumer information from Columbia School of Dental & Oral Surgery
Oral Health Made Simple: Your Prescription For Knowledge
Small BoxAll About Cavities
Small BoxBrushing and Flossing
Small BoxFluoride
Small BoxMouth-Healthy Eating
Small BoxSealants
Small BoxTaking Care of Your Teeth
Small BoxTobacco
Small BoxYour Dental Visit
Small BoxMORE
Small BoxBad Breath
Small BoxCavities
Small BoxCold Sores
Small BoxDry Mouth
Small BoxImpacted Tooth
Small BoxSensitive Teeth
Small BoxTMJ
Small BoxTooth Discoloration
Small BoxMORE
Small BoxCrowns
Small BoxDentures
Small BoxFillings: The Basics
Small BoxGum Surgery
Small BoxImplants
Small BoxRoot Canal Treatment
Small BoxScaling and Root Planing
Small BoxWhitening
Small BoxMORE
Small BoxControlling Pain
Small BoxCosmetic Dentistry
Small BoxEmergencies
Small BoxFill, Repair, Replace
Small BoxKids And Teens
Small BoxOral Health and Your Body
Small BoxOrthodontics
Small BoxPeriodontics
Small BoxSeniors
Small BoxMORE
Step 1 Prevent ProblemsSimplestepsPrevent Problems
Step 2 Understand ConditionsSimplestepsUnderstand Conditions
Step 3 Explore TreatmentsSimplestepsExplore Treatments

go to Interactive Tools go to Parents' Guide go to Dental Drugs go to Ask The Dentist

Back to Dental Drugs
New reviewed by Columbia banner

Common brand names: Amoxil, Trimox

Description: Amoxicillin is a member of the penicillin class of antibiotics. It is called an extended-spectrum antibiotic. That means it can kill a wider range of bacteria than penicillin VK. It is better absorbed than ampicillin. It works longer than penicillin VK and ampicillin.

Dental uses: Amoxicillin is the drug of choice for people who need antibiotics before dental treatments. These people are at risk of developing a heart infection called endocarditis. This is a serious bacterial infection. It may be fatal. People at risk for this infection take antibiotics before dental treatments that tend to cause bleeding. People at risk include those who have:

  • Artificial heart valves
  • A history of endocarditis
  • Certain forms of congenital heart disease
  • A transplanted heart that has developed valve disease

Bleeding can occur in treatments that:

  • Puncture or cut into mouth tissue
  • Manipulate the gums or the area around a tooth root

Some people with artificial joints of the hip, knee or elbow also are given amoxicillin before certain dental treatments.

Amoxicillin also is given to people who have abscesses, infections around their wisdom teeth or infections that develop after surgery.

Dosages for dental purposes: If you are at risk for developing bacterial endocarditis, your dentist or physician will prescribe a single 2-gram dose. This is taken 30 to 60 minutes before dental treatments that are likely to cause bleeding. In people at risk for a joint infection, the dose is taken 60 minutes before the dental treatment.

The typical adult dose for dental infections is 250 milligrams to 500 milligrams every 8 hours. It may be prescribed for 7 to 10 days.

Children are given a liquid form of amoxicillin. Their dose is based on body weight.

As with all medicines, be sure to follow your doctor's prescription. Take amoxicillin for the prescribed length of time, even if you start to feel better. Do not stop taking it without talking to your doctor. Stopping an antibiotic too soon may cause bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics. This means the antibiotics won't work the next time.

Concerns and possible side effects: Tell your dentist and physician about all the medicines you take. This should include over-the-counter vitamins and herbal supplements. Also, let your dentist know if you have had a sensitive or allergic reaction to any medicine. If you are pregnant or nursing, or might be pregnant, talk to your primary care doctor before starting any new medicine. This also includes vitamins and supplements.

Amoxicillin can make birth control pills less effective. Therefore, you should discuss this issue with your prescribing doctor.

People taking blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin (Coumadin) may be more likely to bleed while taking amoxicillin.

Amoxicillin may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and yeast infections. A mild rash occurs in about 5% to 10% of children and some adults who take amoxicillin. It is usually not serious. But you may not be able to tell if this is a common rash or one that is a sign of an allergic reaction. Therefore, tell your doctor about the rash. Sometimes, amoxicillin turns the tongue black. This is known as black hairy tongue. It often goes away.

If you are allergic to amoxicillin or another penicillin drug, do not take it. Allergic reactions vary. Some people get a rash. Some people have a drop in blood pressure. In others, the airway swells and makes it difficult to breathe. If you take a medicine and begin to have difficulty breathing, get medical help right away.

Tell your doctor about any reaction to a prescribed medicine, no matter how minor it might be.

printer friendly format option iconPrinter-friendly version     
printer friendly format option iconPrinter-friendly version
Powered by Aetna Dental Plans

© 2002-2016 Aetna, Inc. All rights reserved. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before starting a new fitness regimen. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions. External website links provided on this site are meant for convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement. These external links open in a different window.