I Have a Tooth Infection — How Long Can I Leave it Untreated?

Jan 15, 2023

Many people experience the symptoms of tooth infection without realizing it. The pimple on the gum, throbbing pain, sensitivity, and more signs occur when you have an infected tooth. Dental specialists recommend receiving immediate treatment if you suspect an infection. Still, some individuals choose to delay treatment. Consequently, untreated tooth infection leads to severe issues. So, how long can a tooth infection go untreated?

In this blog, we’ll mention the symptoms, complications, and treatment for dental infection. Continue reading to learn how long a tooth infection will last without causing complications.

Signs Of Tooth Infection

When bacteria manage to invade the gums or root of a tooth, you might experience the symptoms of an infection. Among many indications, many people notice a pus-filled pocket on their gums. Bacteria can enter your tooth due to decay, cracks, gum disease, injury, and more. Once bacteria infect your tooth, you’ll experience these symptoms:

  • Persistent, throbbing tooth pain that radiates to your cheek, jawbone, neck, and even ear
  • Heightened sensitivity when your teeth come in contact with something cold or hot
  • Pain upon chewing or biting due to the pressure
  • Sensitivity to air
  • Swollen face or cheek
  • Fever
  • Swollen and tender lymph nodes in your neck or under your jaw
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing
  • A foul taste in your mouth
  • A bad odor on your breath
  • Gums turning red and swelling
  • Loose tooth
  • A tender pimple or pus pocket on your gums

The abscess might release salty, foul-tasting fluid in your mouth if ruptured. Moreover, you might experience slight pain relief. Don’t hesitate to visit a dental specialist if you notice a gum boil.

Is Tooth Infection Dangerous?

Today, we have improved dental hygiene and modern dental treatments for infections. Your dentist will recommend the best antibiotic for tooth infection if it is not that severe. But the longer you delay treatment, the more dangerous your dental infection will get. Furthermore, it can spread to other areas of your body. If you wait longer, an untreated tooth infection can enter your bloodstream, heart, or even brain. This is why dentists recommend getting the proper treatment on time to avoid such consequences.

It’s also important to see a dentist for preventive care. Sometimes, antibiotics can work to treat the infection. The dentist might recommend incision and drainage for small abscesses. Other times, root canal therapy can help. But, in severe cases, tooth extraction is required.

What Complications Can Tooth Infection Cause?

Tooth infection, if left untreated, can lead to the following complications:

  • Tooth loss, since the tooth can become severely decayed. This might cause the affected tooth to break or even fall out.
  • Infection of the bone since the bacteria will spread to the surrounding bone, causing osteomyelitis.
  • Sinus irritation and infected blood vessels. Sinuses are close to your teeth, which can result in a bacterial sinus infection. Although it is rare, the infection can spread to the blood vessels.
  • Septicemia, or blood poisoning when bacteria enters your bloodstream.
  • Ludwig’s Angina, a bacterial infection that occurs under the tongue
  • Meningitis, when the infection spreads to the brain and spinal cord

An untreated tooth infection can last long, and it will only grow with time. This is why you should receive immediate medical attention if you suspect this condition.

What’s Next?

If you suspect a tooth infection, don’t leave it untreated and go to a dentist, as it can cause lasting consequences. Our Spring Cypress Dental team can help with your dental problems at 17330 Spring Cypress Rd. STE+ 115, Cypress, TX 77429. Schedule an appointment with us today by dialing (281) 256-3222.


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