A tooth abscess is a local collection of pus in or around the tooth and is best treated by draining the pus. This should be done as soon as possible to prevent the spread of the infection to other parts of the head and neck. It can be done by a local procedure in the mouth, through a root canal or by removing the tooth completely. Antibiotics are generally not needed if the pus is drained. In fact, scientific studies have shown that antibiotics are unnecessary for treating tooth abscesses.
NOTE: Antibiotics are NOT recommended to settle the infection before draining the abscess - Drainage as soon as possible is the therapy of choice.
Asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) refers to the presence of bacteria in the urine without symptoms of a urinary tract infection. ASB is a colonization state rather than an infection and DOES NOT require antibiotics. Older persons are much more likely to have bacteria in the urine as a normal condition of aging. Giving antibiotics for this condition will cause unnecessary side effects including diarrhea and will promote resistance of bacteria.
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include burning or pain on voiding, increased frequency of voiding, fever and flank pain.
NOTE: cloudy, foul smelling urine does not indicate a urinary tract infection. It usually indicates dehydration and does not need to be investigated with a urine test.
Some ear infections are due to viruses and some are due to bacteria. Antibiotics might be prescribed for an ear infection, but 70-80% of children who have an ear infection will get better without an antibiotic.
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. Pneumonia is most often caused by bacteria, but viruses and fungi can also cause pneumonia.
The best available scientific evidence now shows that this is not necessary for most patients. If you have a prosthetic joint or a heart condition, consult with your dentist:
Most sore throats are caused by viruses. An antibiotic will not help a sore throat caused by a virus. Some sore throats are caused by Streptococcus bacteria, and are treated with antibiotics.
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