What Antibiotics Treat Gum Infections?

Chlorhexidine gluconate, clindamycin, doxycycline, minocycline and metronidazole are antibiotics used to treat gum infections, according to WebMD, as are penicillin and the over-the-counter antibiotic triclosan. Topical or oral antibiotics may be prescribed to treat the bacterial infections that cause gum disease, which begins as gingivitis and progresses to periodontitis, which may cause tooth loss.

Antibiotic toothpastes and mouth rinses are used to treat gum disease, notes WebMD, and doctors often prescribe sustained-release insertion gels and pills for later stages. Taking antibiotics in conjunction with adopting proper flossing and brushing habits may stop gum infections in some cases.

Nausea, vomiting, skin rash and diarrhea are common side effects of antibiotics, according to WebMD. Speak to a physician if the antibiotics cause lightheadedness, fainting or hives. If swelling occurs in the face, tongue, throat or lips, seek immediate emergency medical attention.

The benefits of the antibiotics usually outweigh the minor side effects, states WebMD. Do not stop taking antibiotics unless specifically directed by a doctor. If the side effects become unpleasant, the doctor may prescribe a different medicine or a smaller dosage. If a course of antibiotics is stopped before it is complete, antibiotic-resistant bacteria may appear in the gums, even if symptoms have subsided.