Anyone else find that antibiotics mak... - Pernicious Anaemi...

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Anyone else find that antibiotics make their symptoms worse ?

CherylclaireForum Support

I've got an abscess behind one of my teeth. I've had it since August.

It doesn't hurt like you'd expect from an abscess, but has caused swelling in one half of the roof of my mouth and several loose teeth in the area -one very loose.

I got an emergency appointment with a dentist who gave me 5 days of antibiotics. Nothing has changed on Day 5 - except that I'm very dizzy, concentration and cognitive problems worse, memory worse: had a lot of trouble trying to remember where I'd put tablets, how many I'd taken, why I had one left over etc. Ridiculous.

Looks like I'm going to need more as sadly, abscess, swelling and loose teeth still there. Anyone know of an antibiotic that I can ask for that will not make B12 deficiency worse and will get rid of gum infection ?

Really don't want this to go on through lockdown if possible.

Any advice would be welcomed.

51 Replies

Been there, done that - you have my huge sympathy! After months of infection and 7 courses of antibiotics I finally had an hour and a half operation on mine a few weeks ago and although there's still some deformation of the jaw I'm amazed that most of the swelling has gone down.

Avoid Trimethoprim like the plague - it locks up folate badly and probably has other similar effects. It's deadly to us!

Nitrofurantoin makes me feel terrible while I'm taking it but it does the trick and only slightly affects folate. Can make potassium and magnesium more available. More used for UTIs than teeth though.

Metronidazole is similarly effective but is less likely to make you feel so sick. Often used for teeth and probably the one you are most likely to be able to get. You will need additional folate but not for long after you stop taking it.

If you aren't allergic to penicillins then high dose amoxycillin might work with minimal negative effects. Make sure they give you at least 7 days worth to avoid resistance problems - the strongest bugs are the ones left towards the end of the course and so it's most critical that you have enough to kill these too!

It is possible to get clavulanic acid-potentiated amoxycillin which is more effective, especially in joints (not in this case) and bones which probably is applicable.

Oxytetracyclines aren't used much for teeth - or at all these days - but are usually safe for us. They do get right into teeth (they can discolour embryonic teeth) so could be effective but I doubt you'll get them.

Cephalosporins are equally broad spectrum but are used in soft-tissue infections so would not apply in this case. There are several generations of these, developed to try to get around resistance problems, and I don't know how much the different ones may lock-up nutrients so if another situation arose and you were offered them it would pay to investigate the specific one suggested.

They managed to get my infection under control, so they could safely operate, by giving me a high rate metronidazole plus concurrent double-dose amoxycillin. The two drugs work together to produce an effect greater than the sum of each on its own.

It is possible to look up all drugs, their contraindications and drug interactions in the British National Formulary (BNF) online and is well worth doing, especially for the likes of us.

I hope you can get it sorted. Even my lose teeth have reestablished themselves since I've got rid of the infection and had the op: there is hope!

Good luck! xx

CherylclaireForum Support in reply to deniseinmilden

Sorry to hear that, Denise ! Poor you !

What operation did you have to have ?

Metronidazole is what I've been taking - but I really didn't think 5 days worth would do it. Better than last time I had to take it when gum infection led to losing a wisdom tooth - vertigo and headache so bad couldn't get off the sofa : room spinning - so I must have improved since then.

Doxycycline (SIBO trial) in 2018 had the same effect. No other, so at least SIBO got ruled out.

Still hoping to save teeth as the same thing happened, also in 2018, to same teeth - and managed to get over it without antibiotics or tooth loss.

Glad you kept your's !

Thanks for your advice and take good care of self, okay ?

Metronidazole had worses side effects for me than amoxicillin.

The worst cocktail I was given once was metronizadole and ,augmentin. That was for an abscess but not in my mouth.

The amoxicillin worked just as well on it's own but a 10 day course for same thing on another occasion.

Oh im sorry youve had such a rough time.

Pleased at least a better outcome.

Take care

Thank you!

Congratulations on being able to be grandma - that is so special! Time to look after yourself again now! Good luck with getting your improvements back on track. xx

Thank you. Your advice always appreciated . Xx

I had antibiotics for my H. pylori infection. Didn't seem to affect B12 symptoms in any way. The antibiotics were amoxicillin and clarithromycin.

CherylclaireForum Support in reply to fbirder

Thanks, fbirder. Did it work?

Thrones in reply to Cherylclaire

So sorry to hear this Cheryl sending my warmest well wishes.x

CherylclaireForum Support in reply to Thrones

Thanks, Thrones. At least it doesn't hurt. Just hate to go backwards, even temporarily and even with a good reason for regression.

Thrones in reply to Cherylclaire

Morning Cheryl.have you tried swirling your mouth with pure organic coconut oil?Its called oil pulling. It’s a small blue and grey tub from Holland and Barrett only costs a couple of quid. You take a teaspoon of it swish it around your mouth for about ten minutes then spit it out,rinse your mouth out with lukewarm water then clean your teeth as usual,it’s antibacterial and as you probably know is used for a multitude of things,I’ve had a lot of success with it over the years and it’s my favourite go to.It won’t do you any harm to try it and it will certainly help reduce the inflammation in your gums,worth a try? Take care xx

CherylclaireForum Support in reply to Thrones

Definitely worth a try - thanks !

fbirder in reply to Cherylclaire

I presume it worked as the heartburn has stopped.

CherylclaireForum Support in reply to fbirder

I was given antibiotics for possible SIBO once, when the breath test came back as inconclusive - because all I had was a bad reaction to the antibiotics, decided I didn't have it. Sometimes we're just guinea-pigging it through !

Nackapan in reply to fbirder

Oh that's good.

As you are aware I had 2 rounds of antibiotics with my tooth.

My b12 symptoms were worse

I enquired the before taking the second lot if another antibiotic could be used.

I decided on advice from dentist and pharmacist to take the 'bog standard ' amoxicillin as otherwise you can run the risk of having to take another course. I had 10 day courses.

I did get oral thrush for the first time ever. I tried a local treatment but the second lot chose to have a 50mg oral canastan tablet.

I got tearful.

Nasty taste

More off balance

Flu like symptoms

Lead legs ect

I didnt have a third round but got them just in cases.

I have every sympathy .

At least you have a reason.

That very thought kept me sane and able to get through months .

April to July/August .

I'm not out of the woods as have jaw pain. But so much better than it was.

I did eat lots of natural yoghurt and strawberries as I read good for gut and balance. (Strawerries.)

Sensodyn toothpaste does work in the gums for nerve pain. Lots of ibuprofen and paracetamol.

Mouth washes of warm salt water. mouth wash stained my teeth but the chlorhexidine I'm sure saved me from more antibiotics

I looked in my notes as had a tooth out in 2004 last another antibiotic failed.

Vit c helps healing too . I took a higher supplement.

Lots of soups

Take care I'm thinking of you

CherylclaireForum Support

Nasty taste like alcohol-based ? Like one of those awful "welcome drinks" that make your eyes water ?

Yes, feeling low for no particular reason.

Plus so infuriating to be unable to cope with taking 3 tablets a day for 5 days without error/loss - makes you feel a bit of a plum.

Thanks for the prompt response - quite keen to get things done before Thursday if I can.

Glad you are getting a bit better, takes so long, doesn't it? ... are you still on nanny duty ?

Yes exactly. Also wee can be brown.

No I'm home now . I'm not doing much at all . Trying now to stop the pain killers again which I took to function.

What a test.

Pleased I was able to get there. First day balance was bad. I think it was the car journey and emotion. Really did highlight how far I've got but how debilitated I still am.

I realised so many adaptions made at home .

Anyhow back to you.

Hope the infection clears very soon .

Teeth!!! Gums!!!

This rotten condition .

Thank goodness for liquidizers and soup .

Chlorhexidine good in mouth washes .

CherylclaireForum Support in reply to Nackapan

You still did it, and were there when they needed you.

Can be really tiring if you have to pretend for too long, can't it ?

I think you did really well. Take it easy.

I feel better now I've had a bit of a moan-up !

That's good. We deal with so much so why not have a moan.

I've taken to my bed mainy for a few days and had a painkiller free day yesterday . But yes satisfied my job done so more relaxed.

Wiped out but yes satisfied my brain worked recalling knowledge to rrassure ect. Such a familiar looking baby . ! I remember picking my sisters out correctly from the hospital nursery with the same feeling. One of ours. After working with babies and children for si many years it di me good in many many ways . Mainly to be there for my daughter.

My head so sore . Wondering if ENT needed as well. I was refused a referral early on as I didnt take some medication for virtigo fir sickness.

Only because I wasnt sick!! I could've lied I took it but didnt . Same one that's blocked things at my surgery as he thinks its 'all in my head. ..well this morning it is but pains not otherwise.

Hes not over failing with The Epley manouvre ....oh well

I did less and less before leaving I'd like to say weaning me off but actually couldnt do it anymore. It confirmed I coukdnr drive there when being driven home we had to go in a tunnel. The lights were unbearable I had to shut my eyes. Hadnt thought of that with daytime driving .

Hope your mouth calms and responds to treatment very soon. T c


CherylclaireForum Support in reply to Nackapan

Wonderful to be able to recognise your brood like that.

You are right not to pander to egos. Don't lie, don't take inappropriate medication to appease others - not your fault if manoeuvre didn't work.

I don't need to tell you. You know what's important in the world .

You were there for your daughter.

"Can be really tiring if you have to pretend for too long, can't it" is the best phrase to sum up our interactions with people that I could imagine - totally, totally spot on! It was so obvious when I heard it, I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it - I knew it, just couldn't put it into words!

Everything you say about your symptoms with antibiotics - the dizzys, the lethargy, the fatigue, the low mood, the aches, etc all screams to me "low folate". It also makes my eyesight fuzzy.

I usually take methylfolate and that's enough to supply my folate requirements with the methyl extension I also need, but if I have antibiotics (other than plain amoxycillin) I need to take additional folic acid tablets to get rid of the folate deficiency symptoms without overdoing the methyl. If I get labyrinthitis I have to add in several mg of additional folic acid for a few days to sort it.

Taking high doses of things without blood tests is NOT a recommendation, but those with malabsorption/severe deficiency issues will understand why I need to act immediately on symptoms for a good outcome.

I hope you can find something that works for you ASAP! I completely identify with the panicky feeling when your health spirals out of control again: stability is so essential, isn't it? However, I'm a couple years "ahead" of you and over this extra time I've learnt that even when things get really mucked up it IS possible to get them back so, like you are doing now, I try to focus on deciding what the symptoms are suggesting is the problem and hence work out what will restore the balance. You definitely get more canny as you go on!

I've made a list of symptoms and solutions in my phone because the first thing that usually goes wonky is my cognition and so I can't work out what I need to do to get better! It took a while to train myself to remember to look at the list, but hey... 😂

Good luck with everything! X

Yrs it stuck with me too when someone posted 'pretending to be normal '

As you say with cherylclaire comment on it absolutely

Spot on .

Hope you recover from all those antibiotics and surgery on your mouth.

My 'tricky' extraction took 7 weeks to heal properly. So slow

CherylclaireForum Support in reply to deniseinmilden

Thanks. Have a lot of faith in your judgement, Denise, and will try additional folate. It's certainly been necessary in the past. Still waiting for the blood test results from 3 weeks back - trying to find reason for return of infections.

I've got another emergency appointment late this afternoon for more antibiotics. Might have to persist with Metronidazole as they did work before. Hopefully teeth will "tighten up" again and I'll get another couple of years out of them.

I do hope so 🤞

I have just yesterday had a tooth removed. I had had half a tooth fall out in April and had to wait until I was in a lot of pain for emergency dental appointment on the NHS. I was given 5 days of Metronidazole but only took it for 3 days as I felt dizzy and disorientated. I am not very good with antibiotics anyway and cant take Penicillin at all as it makes me sick. I would ring your dentist back and ask to have the tooth/teeth removed as the antibiotics may not work if the problem of bad tooth is still there. I have a B12 spray and was using that every day in case it was this as I could not eat properly anyway (soup and soft bread).

CherylclaireForum Support in reply to Leete1

Poor you !

Metronidazole makes me feel very weird too - think this reaction to antibiotics is only since I became B12 deficient, but as I was previously so healthy that I rarely needed medication, I can't remember. Can't remember having penicillin either - I suppose if I'd had a bad reaction to it, I might.

Luckily for me, I have a painless but recurring gum infection and nothing wrong with the teeth, except that they are being bullied out of their sockets !

That's really annoying isnt it My teeth were just so full of filling they broke. No infection until left without treatment for over a month then it was an emergency appointment!

So it's getting you gums in better shape. Difficult. I wish you well.

Nackapan in reply to Leete1

Hope you recover soon.

They prescribe systemic medicine to treat local infection 😱

Try Corsidyl gel to treat it: put a pea size gel in your finger and massage for couple of minutes into your abscess, then leave for another couple of minutes and then rinse with hot water. Don’t swallow!

Do it 3-4 times per day.

From my experience, for new inflammation 1-2 times is enough to reverse it but as you had it for some time, you probably will need 2-3 days.

Hope you will be able to heal it quickly.

CherylclaireForum Support in reply to Tuscansun

Thanks for the advice.

Lovely to have had such helpful people around when feeling down !

Good luck and please start treating it locally ASAP to avoid any additional antibiotics.

CherylclaireForum Support in reply to Tuscansun

I have been, but so far without total success. I expect this is why it has not got any worse or spread or given me pain.

I just read carefully - you mentioned loose teeth. Can you try to increase (drastically) your vit C intake? Vat C deficiency is known for gum and teeth problems...

Nackapan in reply to Tuscansun

Yes I mentioned that. I took high doses of vitamin c as boosts your immune system .

CherylclaireForum Support in reply to Tuscansun

Good idea -I will try it.

Diet is fine, but don't feel that most of it gets absorbed - hence problems with vitamin B12, D, folate and ferritin in reaching an ideal and stabilising there. Awaiting blood test results - since over 3 weeks ago.

Think I'll boost it with supplements as Nackapan suggested.

Went to dentist again today - she took an x-ray. Thinks that bone so damaged that only gums keeping those loose teeth in - and wanted to do an extraction, while gums still infected as the Metronidazole had done nothing. Got more antibiotics instead, but this time Amoxycillin. Feel like I've just bought myself another 5 days until the inevitable happens.

Got some Solgar folate today, too, deniseinmilden . Noticed that the chemist had sold out of B12 tablets - told them about B12 injections having been cancelled, delayed or stopped indefinitely by some GPs. Did you get the message from the Pernicious Anaemia Society about this ? Might send them a copy so that they can better advise their customers during this current lockdown.

Sorry the first lot didnt work. Hope the amoxicillin does.

Not much you can do about bone density. My friend cant get implants to stay in.

You are on calcium arnt you?

I had the opposite problem of too hard bone . The dentist said thats why extraction was so traumatic.

If tih di have an extraction it should at least be an easy one. Alot to be said for that.

It's amazing how hard your gums become to compensate .

I've two missing. It does affect your 'bite' and probably puts more of a strain on other teeth.

I tried to save the tooth in 2004 . An infection under a crown. 14m latr so relieved when it out.

Dont forget the natural yoghurt ect to help prevent thrush.

....and so it goes on.

Keeo us posted.

Take care xx

CherylclaireForum Support in reply to Nackapan

Thanks, Nackapan - yes, vitamin D on prescription for osteoporosis of the spine.

Started Amoxycillin as soon as I got back from dentist and chemist yesterday.

Think I could pull one tooth out myself, it's so loose !

Thanks for being around for me.

Another exceptionally good product we use is called can buy in boots or amazon etc,either as a mouth rinse or a spray to target the area of inflammation,it’s not cheap but it’s so good usually a few days use is enough to resolve most gum problems.

“Gengigel Spray is a biological mouth and gum helps to assist with the treatment of gingivitis and peridontitis and all forms of inflammation in the gum”,

Good luck Cheryl xx

CherylclaireForum Support in reply to Thrones

Yes I've been using Gengigel mouthwash and gel, and Gengigel First Aid - which is a bit of a revolting pink mix of the two - like glue !

How to prove to your dentist that you already do clean your teeth twice a day, use the dental brushes, etc etc ?

Think possibly saliva duct strictures and saliva gland infections did not help tongue, gums, teeth, even angular cheilitis.

I feel like I felt when I was sent to a dietitian because I had low folate, ferritin, vitamin D, vitamin B12: what the hell did they think I was eating ?

Yes. Soul destroying. Your diet kept you well for 57 years!! Or 54 like me

I was renowned for a healthy diet and so food dependant. Never been on a diet either . No idea I'd stopped absorbing it. Why would I. No bloods were offered . (7 years I'd not been to a doctor tou woukd think a red flag would be raised) It seems tiredness clumsiness expected from people especially woman of a certain age. Irritating to say the least.

My daughter was sent. She knew more about nutrition than the specialist. They said as much!

Just couldnt absorb it !! Or digest.


CherylclaireForum Support in reply to Nackapan

Dietitian was there with the tissues and backed me in my quest for more B12, so not entirely a waste of my time. I would've gone anywhere, I was so ill then....

A lot better now. And well enough to moan about a tooth or two !

Regarding GP practice - me too ! I used to get those letters sent, asking if I was still living at my address. Never needed to go.

Take good care.

Thrones in reply to Cherylclaire

I lost all my teeth at a really young age not because of decay but because of jaw pain ,I probably had the worst dentist on the planet.I spent a fortune having them all crowned but the pain continued even though my teeth looked beautiful so then he started to remove them,one complete side at a time he started with my impacted wisdoms and I can’t describe the pain I suffered afterwards I was all stitched up and infected and my face was every colour of the rainbow with bruising.he sad he could find no reason for jaw pain and just kept removing teeth and making bridges until I only had my front top and bottom crowns left,eventually I found another dentist and begged him to take the remaining teeth out as my confidence was rock bottom so he did and I had dentures made,this was all private no nhs dentists involved,it was the best thing I did ve never regretted it I had so much pain and like you the moment I have the lower jaw pain back just to one side and my actual face skin in that area feels coarser than the other side but one battle at a time for me just now.

I hope this resolves for you I know you must be suffering xx

CherylclaireForum Support in reply to Thrones

How awful !!!

Me? No, I'm not suffering - doesn't hurt at all. Also think that tooth extraction will be a bit of a doddle, as it's so wiggly. Hopefully just the one as the others not so wiggly. Hopefully Amoxycillin will save them -at least for now.

In all other ways, I've been doing rather well lately.

Take good care.

Thrones in reply to Cherylclaire

I’m pleased your feeling better in other ways it kind of compensates doesent it,that’s how I feel ok I may not be progressing as fast as Id like but at least I am progressing with some things buts it’s awful lonely sometimes isn’t it,you think that no one else can get their head around all the different ailments we seem to have so it’s good being able to have them confirmed by tests in a sad way I suppose because it’s not something to celebrate but at least then we can prove it’s not in our heads.stay safe and well xx

CherylclaireForum Support in reply to Thrones

Completely get you, Thrones . If this is the worst thing currently, I'm doing okay.

Always so sure that no-one is going to believe any of it..... it's either don't talk about it and pretend - or take photos/keep diary, amassing evidence. One is too exhausting and lonely, the other makes you look obsessive and hypochondriac. But how do you just get on with your old life when it's still beyond your reach ?

Getting closer.

Keep going.

Thrones in reply to Cherylclaire

Your spot on what a star you are lol xx

Nackapan in reply to Thrones

Goodness that's alot to go through. I had all 4 wisdons removed in my 20's . My jaw was clocking badly . They woukdnr do that now.

I was also like a rainbow of bruises to a v like a t short . The sww ellong uk tk my ears something else.

I wonder why your jaw was so sore.

My jaw tenses and aches too goes with the tinnitus head pains and behind eye sockets ect.

At least no more extractions for you.

Alot to go through though

Thrones in reply to Nackapan

Yes it felt never ending at the time and at one time during this treatment I caught the worst bout of herpes you’d ever seen,I swear it was from dentist,I’d no lips just huge water blisters when I woke up and it travelled to eye so it also left me with trigmenal neuralgia all up left side of face looking back I remember this as one of the worst periods of my life but like everything we get through it and I’ve had a lot of quality times in my life that I prefer to focus on if I can or id go nuts lol.take care Nackapan x

A round of 10 day antibiotics for a sinus infection was the tipping point for me. After the antibiotics I got dizzy and a ton of my B12 symptoms came to the surface after that. I will definitely avoid all antibiotics if I can going forward.

CherylclaireForum Support in reply to Ctadds1

It's really becoming confusing as to whether problems are due to a reaction against the antibiotics themselves or the antibiotic's effect on B12/folate. Certainly a B12 deficiency makes infections more likely and healing more difficult.

What makes me think it is linked to B12 is that I really can't remember having any reaction to antibiotics prior to a B12 deficiency, and since then I've had two courses of antibiotics during 2018 (for gum infection and for possible SIBO)- and both Metronidazole and Doxycycline gave me really bad headaches and dizziness.

This time with Metronidazole, mainly dizziness and a bit low - I'm thinking that this is because I'm that much better two years on. The antibiotics did not however do the job this time, which is why I've now got Amoxycillin, and dizziness again, and a bit too early to tell if they are working yet, but hopeful.

Still think I'm going to have to lose at least one tooth this time. Working on acceptance of inevitable- but really not keen on having an extraction while abscess still bad, so will put up with 10 days' antibiotics (and dizziness) if it proves effective.

This has been going on since at least August, when I was not certain that I wanted to visit a dentist at all.

Hope you can steer clear of antibiotics in the future, Ctadds1 !

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