How Long Until a Tooth Infection Kills You: Learn About The Symptoms & More!

How Long Until a Tooth Infection Kills You

Many of you might think, a tooth infection is a minor problem and it may take months for its treatment. But do you know that tooth infections can kill you? Yes! These infections on your teeth can develop into deeper contagions and may even spread all over your body. You might be pondering on the fact that how long until a tooth infection kills you. Well, do not worry, because we have got you covered. In this article, we are going to discuss how long until a tooth infection kills you. We are also going to learn about other kinds of stuff such as when can a tooth infection kill you, the risk factors related to tooth infections, and how to treat a tooth infection before it becomes complicated and lethal. If you are interested in all these topics, continue to scroll down our article.

What Is A Tooth Infection?

Let us begin with knowing what a tooth infection is:

A tooth infection is caused when the bacteria have reached inside the soft tissue (which is also known as the pulp), and it is causing harm. If we do not get treatment on time, the infection will continue to grow and form an abscess surrounding the infected tooth. The abscess is a packet of infectious pus that can cause common problems related to tooth infection such as toothache, severe pain, etc. But the actual question is: Can a tooth infection kill you? The answer is Yes. Here are some of the reasons below!

How Long Until a Tooth Infection Kills You
Close up of dentist holding angled mirror and hook while examining patient. Young woman is with mouth open getting dental checkup in hospital.

When a Tooth Infection Can Kill You?

1. Untreated tooth infection

If you are suffering from a tooth infection, and it is kept untreated for a long time, you might get fatal infections all over your body.

2. Sepsis

This means that the contamination has spread all over your body and it is causing severe and fatal reactions.

3. Mediastinitis

This infection occurs in the lungs of a person and it can hamper breathing, hence causing death.

4. Necrotizing Fasciitis

This infection usually occurs through teeth, and then kills the soft tissues inside the mouth, thus affecting the whole body.

5. Blood Clots

Blood clots are formed in the sinuses due to infections, etc. These blood clots are usually near the eyes and the brain and are fatal.

6. Endocarditis

This is a type of infection that causes inflammation of the inner layer of the heart.

7. Brain Abscess

If the infection is spread in the brain, it can cause pus formation inside the brain, hence resulting in brain abscess.

8. Osteomyelitis

Fatal infection that develops in the bone tissues of the body.

Now let us answer the most awaited question:

How Long Until a Tooth Infection Kills You?

So, let’s answer your question about how long until a tooth infection kills you! This contamination usually happens in steps.

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Step 1:

Tooth Decay. Your infected tooth starts to rot. If you do not undergo any treatment, it may take a few months for the decay to reach the innermost pulp of the teeth to form the tooth abscess.


if your tooth infection is quite serious, it will take less time to form a tooth abscess, since the bacteria will spread faster. You must keep one thing in mind, that is, the longer you delay getting treatment, the faster the bacteria will spread all over your mouth.

At this time, you may suffer from severe toothache and you are advised to visit the doctor.

Step 2:

Once the contagious infection reaches the vital organs such as the brain, eyes, heart, and neck, it is going to be extremely fatal for the patient. If medical aid is not administered on time, the patient can die instantly- even within two to three days. It is important, that currently, without wasting time you seek medical attention and treatment as soon as possible. If you seek immediate medical and dental care within time, it is possible to save the life of the patient. If you can provide medical treatment in time, they will be able to stop the infection before the patient undergoes fatal conditions.

Risk Factors that Increase the Deadliness of Tooth Infection

You should also remember that various risk factors increase the menaces of a tooth infection killing you. Here we have a list of several risk factors, and if you have any of them, including a tooth infection, try to get dental aid as soon as possible. Some of them include:

1. Diabetes:

Unfortunately, people with diabetes have a higher risk of dying from a tooth infection, other than other health conditions. This usually occurs because diabetic people have more glucose in their saliva which causes dental plaque hence tooth infection.

2. Older People:

If an older person gets a tooth infection, it is nearly fatal for the person. This can cause him some serious lethal conditions including death. This is because older people have a weakened immune system.

3. Immune function:

People who are immunocompromised have a higher chance of dying from a spreading tooth infection. This is because their immune system is poor and they cannot fight properly against the contagious bacteria that is supposed to spread all over the body of the patient.

4. Malnourishment:

Malnourishment occurs when the entire body lacks nourishment and, hence lacks a good immune. This makes it harder for the body to fight against these contagious bacteria spreading all over the vital organs.

Let us now answer, one of the most asked questions:

How Long Until a Tooth Infection Kills You

How Do We Know That a Tooth Infection Has Reached the Vital Organs of the Body?

Well, the answer is quite simple. If the tooth infection spreads to the blood, it is called sepsis. Through the blood, the infection reaches almost every part of the body including the vital organs such as the heart, brain, eyes, and neck.

Now, if the tooth infection is cured at an early stage, the risk of getting sepsis from tooth infection is extremely low. The longer an infectious tooth is kept untreated, the higher the risk of getting sepsis, hence dying from it.

Symptoms of Tooth Infection Spreading All Over the Body

  • You are going to be extremely sick or feverish.
  • You will have sensitive teeth and will not be able to intake cool drinks, hot drinks, or sweet food.
  • You will get a severe toothache from the tooth outward.
  • There will be swelling in the gums.
  • There will be swelling in the neck, cheeks, or tongue.
  • You are going to constantly have bad breath.
  • There will be a rancid taste in the mouth (usually when the tooth abscess ruptures.)
  • There will be difficulty in swallowing.
  • There will be constant dehydration.
  • There will be an increase in breathing rate.
  • Your heart rate is going to increase as well.
  • You are going to have tender and swollen lymph nodes.
  • You will go through confusion.
  • Loss of consciousness will occur.
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If you go through more than three of these symptoms, consult a doctor or a dentist immediately. In most cases, a severe tooth infection is regarded as a medical emergency.

How Can You Prevent Tooth Infection from Spreading?

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
  • After brushing, remember to floss or use interdental brushes to remove plaque from between your teeth.
  • Go for a natural mouthwash that can prevent the growth of bad bacteria in the mouth.
  • Put a limitation on the intake of sugar and carbs. You may not know this, but harmful bacteria dwell on sugar.
  • Do not forget to visit your dentist at least twice a year. Regular checkups are required for the prevention of tooth infections.
  • To reduce inflammation, intake natural anti-inflammatories such as curcumin, fish oil, resveratrol, and green tea.
  • Do not go for tooth procedures such as root canals since they increase the risk of tooth infections.

How Long Until a Tooth Infection Kills You

Treatment of Tooth Infections

Now that you know how long until a tooth infection kills you, let’s take a look at the possible treatments available!

1. Oil Pulling

It is a procedure that is tremendously useful in case of a tooth infection. It helps to destroy the harmful bacteria in your oral cavity, thus fighting against bacterial tooth infections. Take one tablespoonful of coconut oil and rinse it for ten to twenty minutes.

2. Antibiotics

Do not take antibiotics without a prescription from the dentist. Visit a doctor and then he is going to recommend which antibiotic to take to fight the tooth infection.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide

It is a cheap alternative to an antibacterial product to fight a tooth infection. The procedure can be a little risky since hydrogen peroxide is a non-drinkable liquid. Rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide to treat the bacterial infection, but keep in mind that you cannot swallow the liquid.

4. Saltwater

By mixing half a teaspoon of salt with half a cup of warm water and then rinsing it in your mouth, you can get rid of a tooth infection if it does not spread on a large base. You can also add a pinch of baking soda for an antibacterial effect.

5. Clove Essential Oil

Clove essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties which heals against bacterial infections. Take a cotton swab, add four to five drops of this essential oil, and press it gently against the infected area. Do this at least three times a day to get rid of swelling and pain.

Conclusive Insights

In short, even if it takes months for a tooth infection to spread all over the body, once the abscess reaches vital organs such as the heart and brain, it causes fatal diseases such as endocarditis and blood clots. So, it is recommended to seek dental care whenever you face any complications and situations regarding tooth decay or tooth infection. We also recommend you to go for regular dental examinations to reduce the risk of developing a contagious tooth infection which later, can be fatal for you. We hope you find our blog relevant to your search about how long until a tooth infection kills you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How do you know if a tooth infection is killing you?

Ans) The symptoms will include Fever, Rapid heart rate and Rapid breathing.

2. How long can an infected tooth go untreated?

Ans) For weeks or months. It is better to get immediate medical aid from the dentist once you get to know about your tooth infection.


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