How Long Can a Tooth Infection Go Untreated?

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Infection in any part of the body is not safe, especially when left untreated for a longer period, whether in your tooth or anywhere in the body. Regardless of its severity, an infection is left untreated for more than a week, it could worsen and create several issues.

Types of Decay

a girl having teeth decay

Two types of dental decay are there which can happen when a tooth infection is left untreated, and those are as follows:

1. Periapical decay

This tooth decay happens under the teeth when an infection is left untreated for a longer span. 

2. Periodontal decay

In periodontal conditions, the infection occurs behind the bones and gum, providing support to the teeth. 

 This condition of teeth is called abscessed; any tooth comes abscessed in two primary forms:

  • Acute Abscessed Tooth

In the case of an acute abscessed tooth, the pain is abrupt and sharp. The pain occurs quickly and is tough to tolerate. 

  • Chronic Abscessed Tooth

In the case of a chronic abscess, the pain occurs slowly, but the cause remains longer. This type of abscess is more dangerous and hazardous. In chronic abscess, damage occurs to the oral tissues, jawbone, and teeth. The pain, in this case, is not too much; this is why the patients usually ignore the pain and don’t seek medical treatment.

You should not ignore dental abscesses.

The infection with time increases and once the patient starts observing or visits the doctor, the infection may have worsened, and the only treatment left with the doctors for this issue is then the removal of the infected tooth. 

There might be several reasons for infection in the game, out of which one is the absence of space between the gum and a tooth. Typically, when teeth are not brushed, these food particles stay in the spaces and start to decay.

When the particles remain there for too long, you begin having various gum diseases. The disease grows with passing time and last becomes an untreatable infection. 

According to different studies and research, gum diseases, if left untreated, lead to severe health issues like cardiovascular diseases, rheumatoid, cancer, and diabetes.

Effects of Untreated Infection

a man having teeth pain

Bacteria present in the gums usually cause such types of conditions. Untreated tooth Infection and its effects on the body.

The bacteria develop on your gums and teeth in case of a tooth infection, but it does not always stay there. As time passes, the bacteria leave the tooth surface and enter the blood vessels.

This is how the bacteria start circulating with the blood. Once the bacteria enters the blood, it starts to cause different health problems. Below-mentioned are some of the health issues that are associated with untreated tooth infections:

1. Osteomyelitis 

Infectious bacteria are present over the teeth and the gums. The first attack, which bacteria do, is on the bones supporting the infected tooth. It also affects the jawbone. This medical condition is also known as osteomyelitis, and this happens when the bone on your teeth starts inflaming.

Osteomyelitis can be mild and too damaging and painful that it can destroy the whole bone structure surrounding your teeth and gums. This condition, if not treated in time can also become a life-threatening form of oral cancer. 

2. Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis

Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis is the infection in your sinuses, in the blood vessels. This can result in blood clot formation in your brain’s base. The disorder is uncommon but can happen if a tooth infection is left untreated for long.

The condition from teeth, eyes, ears, and nose entering the blood vessels may cause this issue. Some other types of facial disorders are linked with this medical condition. This issue is dangerous and life-threatening, and if left untreated, a person can die. 

 3. Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection, which infects the skin layer present precisely next to the body fat. This type of infection can occur anywhere on the body, including the anus, breast, or face.

Every kind of cellulitis has its symptoms like in the face, the eyes, nose, and cheeks start to become red and puffy. Prolonged untreated cellulitis is also life-threatening. In mild cases, 2 weeks of antibiotics are enough for the treatment. 

4. Para pharyngeal abscess

This type of infection usually occurs when the bacteria present in the tooth infection affect the hyoid bone. The infected part begins to swell, and this causes blockage in the airway. Patients with para pharyngeal abscesses typically face issues in breathing. Below listed are the symptoms of Para pharyngeal Abscess:

  • Swelling over the neck
  • Fever
  • Sore throat

If you have even minor symptoms that last more than 3 weeks, consult your doctor and have a CT scan done to prevent further issues. 

5. Sepsis

Sepsis is one of the most dangerous effects that untreated tooth infection can cause to the human body. In sepsis, bacteria circulates with the human blood and infect all the blood present in the body. This type of health issue blocks the blood arteries and, ruptures the body organs in severe cases. 

As a result, the blood flow slows down, which causes lowered blood pressure and causes lung or kidney failure. 


All these issues mentioned above are too severe for a person to handle, and in most cases, they can be life-threatening. This is why you should never take a tooth infection lightly. Get it treated if anything serious happens. 

The best thing in this aspect is preventing any infection. You can maintain good oral health by brushing your teeth daily, flossing, and following other remedies. If, in any case, any infection occurs, call your doctor immediately and schedule an appointment before your issue worsens.

You can also have regular dental checkups that help your teeth prevent bacterial attacks and infections. Such checkups include:

  • X-ray
  • Fillings
  • Cleaning
  • Scaling

Here are some tips to take care of your teeth, maintain good oral hygiene and oral health to prevent infections.


Author Since:  December 2, 2021

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