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Prednisone For Tooth Infection Is Effective For 3 Factors

Prednisone is a popular steroid that both physicians and dental practitioners widely prescribe.

Like Prednisone, other steroids are also used in various tooth conditions like edema, bell’s palsy, trismus in various forms ( ointment, intracanal medicament, injection, etc.).

Although a few patients have adverse effects and less favorable outcomes, Prednisone typically offers better relief from dental ailments.

Let’s talk about this well-known steroid and how good is prednisone for tooth infection.

Table of Content

Prednisone For Tooth Infection: Why Do The Dentists Prescribe It?

prednisone for tooth infection

Prednisone belongs to corticosteroids or steroids. Doctors usually prescribe it as a treatment plan. One can take prednisone through different routes like injection, inhalation, or pills.

You have probably used other steroids— methylprednisolone, hydrocortisone, prednisolone, etc.

Prednisone acts by suppressing the immune system. As a result, the body’s response to a stimulus or injury becomes slow. It also helps to lower some immune-related signs and symptoms, like swelling and inflammation.

Related: How To Deal With Tooth Infections?

The doctors prescribe prednisone to treat diseases, such as:

  • Asthma
  • Lupus
  • Rashes
  • Arthritis

Prednisone helps a patient with a kidney transplant. It avoids organ rejection by the immune system. Moreover, it is also prescribed for some kidney disorders that may develop nephrotic syndrome.

As a result, blood protein will be reduced; this condition is known as proteinuria. The kidney disorders are:

  • Minimal change disease (MCD)
  • Focal glomerulosclerosis (FSGS)
  • IGA nephropathy

Talking about dental concerns, dentists usually prescribe topical steroids for short-term usage. It is not used in dentistry as a long-term treatment like other medical conditions.

OMS (oral and maxillofacial surgery), endodontics, and oral medicine specialists prescribe prednisone more frequently among the main branches of dentistry.

Here are some dental conditions that need prednisone medication:

In Oral And Maxillofacial Surgery

Steroids are mainly prescribed to decrease postoperative inflammation after an oral and maxillofacial procedure. 

Research has been conducted on the effect of prednisone in dentistry. And it is now well-known to dental doctors that it can reduce postoperative pain as well as inflammation.

Dentoalveolar surgery, facial fractures, orthognathic surgery, reconstructive surgery under general anesthesia, swelling, trismus, pain, postoperative nausea, and vomiting are less in patients if they consume prednisone.

During cleft palate surgery, a local steroid injection is given at the tongue base to decrease the severity of upper airway obstruction.

The maxillofacial surgeons also prescribe high-dose perioperative steroids (prednisone, betamethasone, dexamethasone) in a short-term period to decrease postoperative edema.

After third molar surgery, steroid administration reduces improvement of swelling and trismus.

Related: 9 Essential Facts About Ciprofloxacin For Tooth Infection

prednisone for tooth infection

In Oral Medicine

Steroids are used to treat mucosal lesions of the mouth, like the oral presentation of autoimmune diseases, oral ulcers, etc. For this, dentists usually prescribe topical steroids. However, prednisone for tooth infection is also effective based on the dosages.

Recurrent aphthous ulcer is one of the most common oral mucosal lesions. Usually, this condition resolves within three weeks. Although it is self-limiting, steroids are given to the patients to reduce the pain and recurrence.

When topical antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anesthetic agents are ineffective in reducing ulcer-induced discomfort, topical steroids (creams, ointments, mouthwashes, adhesive pastes) can be a good option.

Topical steroids are a good option for lichen planus. It can be even more effective against lichen planus than systemic steroids. Topical and systemic steroids can be prescribed as a combination to decrease the side effects of systemic steroids.

Another effective alternative for lichen planus is an intralesional steroid injection. This method is painful and develops localized mucosal atrophy, also not feasible for multiple, widespread lesions.

Prednisone is used to treat Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, too. Corticosteroid injection is a vital part of the treatment of TMJ degeneration.

In Endodontology

In endodontic treatment, steroids are used for intracanal placement. They are applied as an intracanal medicament and lining material over an exposed pulp.

Steroids are effective options that decrease secondary inflammatory reactions of apical periodontal tissue after endodontic treatment.

Related: Can You Use Bactrim For Toothache?

Side-effects of Prednisone

Steroid medication will suppress your immune system. As a result, it will be easy for you to get infected, so don’t get too close to anyone sick or has an infection while on steroids.

Visit your doctor if you have bloody stool, severe stomach pain in the stomach, blurred vision, or breathing difficulties. Other side effects may include:

  • Changes in mood
  • Changes in appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Acne
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Weight gain
  • Swelling of face, arms, lower legs, and other organs.

Contraindications of Prednisone

You should avoid prednisone if you have some specific health preconditions. You will need to explain to your dentist about your health issues before starting prednisone.

If you have the following problems, inform your doctor beforehand:

  • If your illness causes diarrhea,
  • kidney disease,
  • liver disease,
  • Hypertension, hypokalemia, or other heart diseases,
  • Thyroid disorder,
  • If you have a history of malaria,
  • Diabetes,
  • Tuberculosis,
  • Osteoporosis,
  • Glaucoma or herpes infection of the eye,
  • Ulcerative colitis or stomach ulcers,
  • Myasthenia gravis.

Effects Of Prednisone Abuse In Your Oral Cavity

Steroids, especially prednisones, are widely prescribed by dentists. These drugs have two remarkable effects on our body:

Anti-inflammatory Effect

Steroids have anti-inflammatory effects that decrease pain, redness, swelling (inflammation) of the affected area. They block the substances responsible for inflammation (like cyclo-oxygenase enzymes or COX).

Some prostaglandins are also responsible for inflammation and pain. Steroids inhibit them by their anti-inflammatory effect.

Immunosuppressive Properties

Decreased efficacy of the immune system is known as immunosuppression. It may occur as an adverse reaction to any treatment. Steroids act as immunosuppressants that will hold back your immune system and will prevent cell damage.

These medicines decrease symptoms of a disease.

Antibiotic steroids have negative impacts like acne, aggression, liver cancer, heart attack resulting from the hormonal change. But do you know steroid abuse can harm your oral cavity, too?

According to some research, steroid abuse may help to contribute to dental diseases. They are responsible for the gum disease and infection of your teeth’ surrounding and supporting structure (tissues).

Following are the signs of gum disease:

  • Swollen, red, and tender gum,
  • Gum that easily bleeds,
  • Halitosis or bad breath,
  • Changes in your partial denture’s fit,
  • Changes to the fit of maxillary and mandibular teeth while biting,
  • While gingiva has pulled away from your tooth, in case of loose and separating gingiva.

If you notice the signs of any gum disease, go for immediate treatment. You should not ignore it for a long time at all. The primary stage is gingivitis which is characterized by swollen, red gum.

It will easily bleed on probing. This stage is usually reversible. If you go for proper treatment and maintain oral hygiene strictly, your gingiva will retain its previous stage.

Related: Can Prednisone Make Tinnitus Worse?

The next stage of gingivitis is periodontitis. This condition is usually irreversible. The dentist will stop the progress of the disease by doing the proper treatment.

After that, you will need to follow the dentist’s instructions; otherwise, the periodontal pocket will form in severe conditions. It may lead to tooth extraction or even bone loss.

If you want a summary, prednisone abuse will not only create hormonal imbalance in your body. It will also affect your gingiva and may cause gingivitis. And if you ignore this condition, it will progress to periodontitis, resulting in bone loss at the extreme stage.


In a nutshell, you can take prednisone for tooth infection, depending on your condition. But you should be aware of whether you’re taking it at a high dose or not. If you feel discomfort or any adverse effect, immediately consult your doctor to prevent unwanted drug reactions.

If your immune system reacts badly because of steroids, your doctor will replace the medication with a new prescription. However, try not to ignore the tooth infection for too long; otherwise, you may suffer from this issue in the future.


What is the most well-known antibiotic for tooth infection?

Amoxicillin is the most well-known antibiotic for tooth infection. The effect of Amoxicillin can be increased when Clavulanate is combined with it. If your tooth infection becomes worse, your dentist may prescribe amoxicillin with clavulanate together.

This is a common technique to decrease infection within a short time.

How to numb tooth pain?

You can easily obtuse tooth pain within a few minutes by using an ice cube. Take an ice cube between thumb and forefinger, and rub it in the space where you have a tooth sore. After 7-8 minutes, the area will turn numb.

How to deal with tooth abscess by yourself?

A tooth abscess is something you should never ignore. However, you can follow some steps to reduce pain:

  • Rinse your mouth using salt water.
  • Rinse your mouth with baking soda and water.
  • Press and hold an ice cube to numb the area.
  • Apply some garlic paste to the affected area.

You can follow these steps for temporary comfort, and after that, you will need to consult with a dentist.

What is the best painkiller for a toothache?

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs are widely considered as best painkillers for toothache. Ibuprofen, naproxen work well for toothache as they reduce inflammation of the affected area.

Other than this, dentists also prescribe some opioids, including oxycodone, codeine, acetaminophen medication, to reduce pain.

Can I buy antibiotics without a prescription?

No, you can’t buy antibiotics without having a prescription. It’s because toothache and tooth abscesses are something that the patient himself should never treat. However, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers like Advil, Motrin, Tylenol, etc.

These medicines will give you temporary comfort, but you will need to visit your dentist for a permanent solution.

How to tell if the tooth infection is spreading or not?

You can determine whether your tooth infection is outpouring or not by the following signs:

  • Throbbing pain in the affected area and jawbone,
  • Neck and ear pain at the same side of the affected area and make lying down worse for you,
  • Sensitivity to pressure on the tooth,
  • Sensitivity or discomfort while eating or drinking hot or cold.

When should I go for a tooth extraction?

Well, the answer depends on your tooth condition. According to the severity of your dental disease, your dentist will suggest you extract the tooth. The most common reasons are:

  • Tooth fracture,
  • Sudden accident,
  • Excessive tooth decay,
  • To correct the shape by wearing braces,
  • Abscess,
  • Infection,
  • Tumour,
  • Cyst.

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