New ADA guideline advises against prescribing antibiotics for most dental pain, swelling

Antibiotics are not needed to manage most dental pain and intraoral swelling associated with pulpal and periapical infections, according to a new guideline from the American Dental Association published in the November issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association.

The guideline, "Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline on Antibiotic Use for the Urgent Management of Pulpal- and Periapical-Related Dental Pain and Intraoral Swelling: A Report from the American Dental Association," advises against using antibiotics for most pulpal and periapical conditions and instead recommends only the use of dental treatment and, if needed, over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.