Speaking as assumptions, how long before a female infection kills or hospitalizes you? The answer may not be as simple as you think, but serious dental infections can certainly be life-threatening.
Depending on how technical or rigorous you want to be about the science behind it, yes, you could die from a dental infection. When an infection gets that severe, it’s not just isolated inside your tooth. It starts in your tooth, but so much more happens when it becomes deadly. All that being said, don’t ignore the cavity or dental abscess your dentist showed on your X-ray.
How come a dental infection can kill you? Well, when you consider that bacteria from serious periodontal disease can spread directly into your bloodstream, lungs, or brain, the concept isn’t as far-fetched as it might seem.
An infected tooth can kill you by allowing bacteria to spread to other parts of your body. Especially to your brain and bloodstream.
Let’s assume for a moment that you have an abscessed tooth. Around the root of these teeth are cysts filled with bad bacteria. Slowly but surely, this cyst or tooth abscess will begin to invade the bony structures and soft tissues near the tooth. It can easily spread to the bloodstream, nasal sinuses, nerves, face, and yes, the brain.
Periodontal infections are not that different. Although there is no dental abscess there, there is severe inflammation, bleeding, and bacterial colonies living under the surface of your gum tissues.
Here are a few life-threatening conditions that can cause a toothache and why you should not skip the recommended dentistry:
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition in which your body is plagued by some type of bacterial infection. It can cause both tissue damage and organ failure by destroying healthy tissues in your body. If your dental abscess drains into an area such as your sinus cavity or bloodstream, it can lead to sepsis, and sepsis can often be fatal.
2) Ludwig Angina
Ludwig’s Angina is a type of infection that occurs at the floor of your mouth, involving areas such as the neck and jaw. This dangerous infection is most often caused by oral infections (such as infected teeth) or a traumatic injury to the jaw. It is frequently seen in children. Typically the abscess needs to be drained and treated with a course of antibiotics, but it can sometimes be fatal.
This rare infection spreads quickly and is caused by bacteria. It causes decay of the fascia inside the soft tissues. And yes it is deadly. Symptoms include pain, swelling, fever, ulcers and blisters, and fatigue, among others.
Endocarditis is where the heart becomes inflamed due to a bacterial infection or some type of fungus. And yes, it’s deadly.
Health professionals recommend that people at risk for infective endocarditis be particularly good at oral hygiene habits to prevent dental abscesses or gum infections from spreading into the bloodstream.
5) Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis
When a blood clot forms inside the cavernous sinuses (like the hollow nasal sinuses above your teeth but below your brain and eye socket), it can be fatal. Since your tooth roots are located right next to some of your sinus cavities, you should be especially careful not to allow abscessed teeth to spread infection to these areas.
Osteomyelitis is a type of bone infection. It spreads to the bone from the bloodstream, such as an abscessed tooth, or an infection right next to the bone structure. It causes painful swelling in your bone marrow. People with diabetes, young children, and the elderly are most at risk.
7) Brain Abscess
This is called an odontogenic brain abscess. This deadly condition can result from undiagnosed cavities or other dental infections. Death or permanent disability are common side effects of brain abscesses.
A severe dental infection should never be taken lightly. Trying to figure out how long it takes for a dental infection to kill you doesn’t mean you can save time by postponing dental treatment. There are instances when symptoms can come on suddenly or it can be months that a patient has had a dental infection before developing life-threatening conditions. Like other deadly infections and diseases, problems can arise faster than you expect. When they become severe or life-threatening, your treatment options are more limited.
In reality, a person can die within days or weeks from a dental infection that has spread to the bloodstream. And it’s extremely important to listen to your dentist’s advice when it comes to active dental disease, as the severity of a dental infection is not easy to measure on your own without a diagnostic X-ray.
Having said all this, you most likely won’t die within a week of being diagnosed with a minor bruise. So why? Because tooth decay goes through several stages:
1.Tooth enamel decay
This is where the cavity in the outer layer of the tooth structure is isolated. A dental filling is usually all that is needed.
After tooth decay breaks down the enamel, it enters the softer dentin layer below. It can grow much faster at this point. Larger dental fillings are required. Or sometimes inlays, onlays or crowns are used.
Tooth decay has reached the nerve tissue inside the tooth. At this point, root canal treatment is essential.
4.Tooth Abscess Formation
A fluid-filled cyst develops at the tip of the tooth root. There may be a visible blister or pocket of pus in the gums. The cyst is visible inside the bone when x-rayed. A root canal or extraction is imminent.
Untreated abscess teeth where the cyst has spread to the surrounding bone, sinuses and blood vessels.
Symptoms of Tooth Infection Spreading to the Body
In most cases, severe dental infections are either related to an abscessed tooth or to advanced periodontal disease. In both scenarios, redness and swelling in the mouth are extremely common. However, if the dental infection has spread to another part of the face, you may notice a swollen cheek, jaw, throbbing pain in the eyes, or difficulty breathing due to a blocked airway. Fatigue and fever are also common. In some cases, symptoms also include neck pain, nausea, and vomiting.
When the tooth infection spreads elsewhere, it’s easy to confuse the problem with something more general as opposed to your tooth. Due to the proximity of dental infections to the airway and brain, doctors may order a scan to determine where the source of infection is coming from.
Should You Go To The Doctor?
Most dental infections need to be treated promptly by a dentist. But if it’s severe, you need to understand that you run the risk of knowing how soon the dental infection will kill you. If you experience significant physical symptoms such as facial swelling, difficulty breathing, a high fever, or an obvious medical emergency, you should seek medical attention directly. If you know you or your child has a dental abscess and is suddenly numb or vomiting uncontrollably, emergency medical treatment is essential.
Who Is At Risk For Tooth Abscess?
While theoretically anyone can die from a dental infection, there are some who are at higher risk for fatal side effects:
If you have an immune disease or are more susceptible to diseases, a serious dental infection can be potentially life-threatening if left untreated.
How Are Infected Teeth Treated?
Most infected teeth can be treated with procedures such as:
.Pulpotomies or pulp closure
.Antibiotics as part of your restorative/therapeutic procedure
.Deep cleaning (periodontal treatment)
Dental infections are not treated with antibiotics alone. However, if your infected tooth is severe, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics along with other procedures on the way to treatment to reduce the overall bacterial load in your body. Antibiotics also help make your planned procedure more comfortable, as severe infection and swelling can affect how effective tooth numbing medications are during your procedure.
How To Prevent Tooth Infections?
The best way to prevent fatal dental infections is to see your dentist routinely for checkups and cleanings and to treat infected teeth as soon as conditions are diagnosed. Don’t wait until your tooth starts to hurt before treating it. It is not uncommon for cavities to develop into abscessed teeth without any painful symptoms.
If a tooth abscess is not treated, it can spread to the head and neck, causing serious complications.