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Quick Answer:

How long until a tooth infection kills you? A tooth infection can cause death in several months. It first forms into a dental abscess if not treated promptly. Once an abscess has developed, you may experience severe tooth pain and swelling. In a few weeks or months, the infection may spread to other tissues. Death can occur in a few days once the infection has spread to other tissues and the bloodstream.

A tooth infection occurs when bacteria reach the pulp. This can happen because of injury or tooth decay. Although death due to tooth infection is rare, it can still occur. An untreated tooth infection can penetrate to other tissues in your body within a few weeks or months. This can lead to life-threatening complications. Let’s find out how a tooth infection can kill you, how long it may take, and when to seek help.

Can a tooth infection actually kill you?
When tooth pulp becomes infected and doesn’t get timely treatment, it can result in a dental abscess.

During the 1600s, tooth infections were the fifth leading cause of death. Even in the early 20th century, tooth infections had resulted in death around 10-40 percent of the time. However, thanks to modern dentistry and dental hygiene awareness, deaths due to tooth infection have become rare in recent days.

However, even now, an untreated tooth infection can cause several health complications, such as brain abscess, bone tissue infection, and harm to other body parts. This can be potentially life-threatening. Therefore, it’s crucial to seek immediate care if you have an infected tooth.

How long until a tooth infection kills you?

There’s no specific timeframe for how long until a tooth infection kills you. Think about it in terms of stages. The sooner you get a tooth infection treated, the earlier you can return to your healthy and happy life.

If a tooth infection is left untreated, it can take several weeks or months to develop an abscess. This is because the decay process is gradual, and it usually takes a while to reach and infect the pulp at a tooth’s center.

Once it has reached the center of a tooth, you can still save your natural tooth by undergoing a root canal treatment.
However, if your tooth is infected due to an injury or a trauma, the bacteria will reach the pulp more quickly.

What happens once an abscess develops?

Once a dental abscess has formed, you may experience swelling and throbbing pain around the infected tooth. You will likely develop a cavity before it forms into an abscess. In the case of serious illness or death due to tooth infections, patients often experience persistent tooth pain for weeks or months before seeking emergency care. If an abscess is left untreated for weeks or months, it may infect other areas, such as the neck, jaw, and brain. This can cause serious problems and may even result in death in a few days if care isn’t received.

Risk factors leading to complications from an abscess.

Several risk factors can increase your chances of having problems from an abscess, including:

  • Having diabetes
  • Older age
  • Experiencing malnourishment
  • Being immunocompromised

When should I seek help for a tooth infection?

You shouldn’t expect a tooth infection to go away on its own. It needs timely treatment to prevent it from spreading. Visit your dentist in Houston if you notice symptoms like throbbing pain, swollen gums, bad breath, tooth sensitivity, and persistent bad taste in the mouth. Generally, reach out to your dentist if something doesn’t feel right. Call us today at 713-766-4389 to schedule an appointment. Our team is ready to help you!