What Happens When a Tooth Infection Goes Untreated

A tooth infection can be incredibly painful, but it’s also fairly common, affecting nearly 50% of adults at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, these infections are often not treated because many people do not realize they have one until it has reached advanced stages and the infection has spread to other parts of the body. Let’s look at how long until a tooth infection kills you and learn how you can quickly catch an infection before it gets out of hand.

A Simple Checkup Can Save Your Life

Visiting your dentist regularly (and doing everything he or she asks) can save you from a scary tooth infection that could lead to worse things, like heart failure. Your mouth is home to millions of bacteria that live in your teeth and gums, called plaque. Some of those germs are good for you—but some of them can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and other nasty infections. Going to the dentist twice each year will give your dental hygienist an opportunity to make sure your teeth are clean, healthy and free from infection.

What Does Untreated Mean?

Every person’s body reacts differently to an untreated tooth infection, which makes it difficult to predict how long an untreated infection will take to cause death. Some victims of tooth infections report suffering for years before their deaths. Other people say they felt pain and knew something was wrong, but did not seek treatment until it was too late. According to dentist Dr. T. Osmundson, If you suspect that you have a dental problem, be sure to see your dentist as soon as possible; don’t procrastinate or put off treatment because of fear or embarrassment. Your teeth may seem like small things, but failing to maintain them can cost you your life.

The Importance of An Early Diagnosis

If you suffer from dental pain, it is critical that you seek help from your dentist or physician immediately. Dental bacteria can enter through many different pathways, one of which is through an existing tooth infection. If your dentist determines that an infection has already set in, you will need to receive treatment right away. How long tooth infections go untreated depends on how severe they are and whether or not they cause any permanent damage to your teeth and gums. It is also important to note that there are some cases where an infection will continue to spread despite receiving antibiotics and/or other treatments early on. With that said, it’s important to be aware of how long a dental infection can remain untreated before serious damage occurs.

The Causes Behind Tooth Infections

To understand how long a tooth infection will last, you first need to understand what causes them. The most common culprits are cavities and periodontal disease. Cavities form from leftover bits of food or bacterial plaque that collects on your teeth’s surface. Once you have a cavity, bacteria enters and spreads throughout your mouth—and by its very nature, bacteria can multiply quickly when given enough room. That’s why it’s so important to catch cavities as early as possible; left untreated, they could lead to an infection. People with diabetes are at higher risk for getting cavities because they may have an impaired ability to sense pain in their teeth or gums.

Symptoms of an Unhealed Cavity

As cavities are left untreated, they may cause chronic problems with pain and sensitivity. Over time, you may not even notice any symptoms until infection spreads from your tooth to other areas of your body. In severe cases, you could develop life-threatening health problems like osteomyelitis or sepsis, which occur when bacteria infect bones or organs. The best way to avoid these serious side effects is to go see a dentist as soon as possible if you experience any new tooth pain or discomfort. If you don’t have dental insurance and can’t afford to pay for urgent care out of pocket, check out free clinics near you that offer low-cost services and discounts on future procedures.

Prevention Is Key

If you’re currently experiencing tooth pain and it won’t go away, that could be a sign of an infection. The first thing to do is to get your teeth checked out by your dentist as soon as possible. Because time is of the essence, if you can’t make it into your dentist right away, try rinsing with warm salt water or mouthwash (some of which contain ingredients that can temporarily numb and kill bacteria). If pain persists, go to urgent care or have someone take you there (or call 911 if your infection gets worse). This isn’t just about preventing tooth loss—an untreated infection can become serious quickly and lead to things like organ failure and death.