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A 44-year-old member asked:

Can a tooth infection kill me?

8 doctor answers16 doctors weighed in
Dr. Nicolas Melgarejo
Infectious Disease 18 years experience
Yes, it can: Complications from tooth infections are rare in this era of antibiotics and modern dentistry. Most of them are diagnosed and treated promptly, and respond well to antibiotics and dental management. However, if untreated, some of them can extend into the neck and/or face, causing serious head and neck infections, including septic thrombophlebitis, airway obstruction from neck swelling and sepsis.
Dr. Robert Eckelson
Dentistry 50 years experience
Yes: Unlikely if you get it treated correctly in enough time to prevent a wild spread of bacteria. You need to see a dentist pronto.
Dr. Greg Rubin
Dentistry 37 years experience
Tooth infection: Yes! please do not forget that teeth are very close to your brain, any bacterial infection can travel to your brain and cause stroke or thrombosis and other dangerous and fatal conditions.
Dr. Kevin Owoc
Prosthodontics 19 years experience
Yes: Dental infections are nothing to ignore. Due to the proximity of the oral cavity to the brain, it is possible that a simple dental infection, if left untreated, could travel to the brain through the various facial spaces and lead to death. This is very rare, but people have died from a simple dental infection. See your dentist.
Dr. Theodore Davantzis
Dentistry 40 years experience
Eventually, it can: Tooth infections were one of the leading causes of death before antibiotics came along. Although antibiotics can clear up most infections, there is no guarantee.. If an infection spreads fast or is resistant to the antibiotics, then a life threatening situation can result. Don't wait to treat...
Dr. Daniel Rubenstein
Dentistry 51 years experience
Tooth infection: Any infection can be harmful systemically if it gets bad enough and is not treated.
Dr. Brian Warner
Endodontics 12 years experience
Rarely: Most tooth infections remain localized to the infected tooth. An untreated infection has the potential to spread through the head and neck and travel down to the heart (cellulitis). This is extremely rare and may only occur if the patient is severely immunocompromised. An infection that spreads to the brain can also be life-threatening. Both situations are uncommon, but could happen.
Dr. Paul Grin
Pain Management 36 years experience
Unfortunately, it is: The infected tooth can be fatal. A tooth abscess won't go away without treatment and the infection may spread to your jaw, cheeks, sinus, brain and to other areas of your head and neck. Dentist will treat a tooth abscess by treating the cause and getting rid of the infection. See your dentist ASAP

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A member asked:

Will a tooth infection kill me?

3 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Valentin Drezaliu
Obstetrics and Gynecology 20 years experience
Not all the time: Most tooth infections are self limited. There are cases still, where the infection spreads in the blood stream causing sepsis, infection invades important blood vessels leading to the brain that indirectly can cause death. If you have a suspicion for a tooth infection see a dentist asap.
A 31-year-old member asked:

Can my tooth infection spread to my heart and kill me?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Martin Raff
Infectious Disease 56 years experience
Theoretically: Dental infections can put bacteria into the bloodstream which have the potential to infect the lining of the heart (endocarditis), and this has the possibility of a fatal outcome. Most often you need to have prior damage to the heart lining for this to occur, although less often, not. Get your dental infection treated.

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Last updated Mar 22, 2020


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