Can a Tooth Infection Kill You? 5 Life-Threatening Complications

When a tooth becomes infected, it can bring forth multiple distressing symptoms. From throbbing tooth pain to fever to increased tooth sensitivity, the list of indicators is a long one. You should consult an emergency dentist as soon as you suspect a tooth infection. Otherwise, it can spread to other parts of your body and cause severe complications. So, it is a battle against time — how long until a tooth infection kills you? Carry on reading this blog to find out.

Symptoms of Tooth Infection Spreading to the Body

When left untreated, a dental infection just becomes worse and gradually spreads over other parts of the body. Hence, you should keep an eye out for the signs of tooth infection spreading to the rest of your body and get treatment on time; or it will reach the face, jaw, neck, bloodstream, and even brain. Below, you will find a list of symptoms of tooth infection spreading to the body:

  • Fever
  • Redness on skin
  • Swollen neck or face
  • Soreness in throat
  • Voice changes
  • Agonizing pain
  • Mood changes
  • Changes in vision
  • Chills
  • Discomfort upon opening or touching the face and the jaw
  • Confusion and drowsiness
  • Feeling unwell overall

How Long Can A Tooth Infection Go Untreated?

A tooth infection might take months to fully develop, and when it does, — the affected person goes through persistent discomfort, severe pain, and swelling around the infected area. Slowly, a pimple on the gum or abscess appears, which requires immediate treatment. If the tooth infection is left untreated, it spreads to other parts of the body over time. As a result, infection spreads to other parts of the body and can cause life-threatening complications. Factors such as age, diabetes, malnourishment, and being immunocompromised can put you at risk of complications from a dental abscess. While there is no exact answer to how long you can leave a tooth infection untreated, it takes months for the infection to spread to the rest of the body, which may cause life-threatening complications.

Life-Threatening Complications Due to a Tooth Infection

It is better to let a dental specialist assess your tooth if you suspect infection; a simple root canal might save you from severe complications. Some deadly consequences of tooth infection spreading to other parts of the body look like this:

  • Sepsis: The infection might start affecting how the organs function, damaging the tissues and causing organ problems, which could result in possible death.
  • Brain Abscess: The infection can spread to the brain, developing a pus-filled pocket when the bacteria or the infection material invade. Hence, the brain abscess can apply pressure which could probably stop blood flow and result in death.
  • Ludwig’s Angina: Infection can make its way to the area under your tongue, resulting in Ludwig’s angina.
  • Endocarditis: Tooth infection, over time, can spread to your heart and cause inflammation in the inner ring of the heart, which is known as endocarditis. This can result in severe complications, even death.
  • Necrotizing Fasciitis: When someone contracts necrotizing fasciitis, it leads to tissue death as the infection quickly spreads in the body. Moreover, it is also called a flesh-eating disorder and might result in possible death in a short span of time.


It takes several weeks or months for the tooth infection to spread to the other areas of the body, but when it does, severe health complications take place. This could lead to one’s death — so it is better to get immediate treatment if you suspect tooth infection. Talk to us at Porter Smile Dental by dialing (281) 519-7200 or visiting 21693 FM 1314 Ste 700, Porter, TX 77365.