How Long Can A Tooth Infection Go Without Treatment?

How Long Can A Tooth Infection Go Without Treatment?

June 14, 2023

A tooth infection is a severe dental condition caused by a bacterial infection. The infection usually starts in the tooth’s pulp, the soft tissue in the tooth’s center.

The pulp chamber is the innermost layer of the tooth that houses the nerves and blood vessels that keep the tooth alive. When bacteria invade this area, they cause an infection that can quickly spread to the surrounding tissues if left untreated.

Other causes of a tooth infection include trauma to the tooth, gum disease, and previous dental work that has allowed bacteria to enter the tooth. It’s important to note that even a minor injury to a tooth can lead to a tooth infection if not properly treated.

It’s also worth mentioning that certain lifestyle factors can increase your risk of developing a tooth infection. Poor oral hygiene, a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates, and smoking can all contribute to tooth decay and gum disease.

Early warning signs and symptoms of a tooth infection

Tooth infection symptoms include pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness around the affected tooth. You may also experience fever, chills, and a general feeling of illness. Sometimes, a tooth infection may cause difficulty breathing, swallowing, or opening your mouth.

See your emergency dentist near you as soon as possible if you notice these symptoms. Your dentist can diagnose the problem and provide the necessary treatment to prevent the infection from spreading.

What happens if a tooth infection goes untreated?

If left untreated, it can cause a wide range of complications that can be extremely painful and even life-threatening.

This can cause severe pain, swelling, fever, and difficulty breathing. If the infection spreads to the jawbone, it can cause bone loss and even lead to a fracture. An untreated tooth infection can lead to tooth loss. The infection can damage the tooth and the surrounding tissues, making it impossible to save the tooth. It’s important to visit an emergency dentist in Knoxville, IA, to prevent the infection from spreading and causing further damage to your health.

How long can a tooth infection go untreated before it becomes dangerous?

The time it takes for a tooth infection to become dangerous varies based on overall health, the type of infection, and how quickly it spreads.

In some cases, a tooth infection can become dangerous within just a few days, while in other cases, it may take weeks or even months before serious complications arise. See a family dentist near you as soon as possible if you suspect a tooth infection. Your dentist will be able to determine the severity of the infection and recommend the appropriate treatment, which may include antibiotics, a root canal, or even surgery.

Treatment Options For A Tooth Infection

Your dentist will prescribe antibiotics to help stop the infection from spreading and from aiding in reducing any inflammation or pain you may be experiencing. This is typically the first step in treating a tooth infection and may be enough to clear up the issue if caught early enough.

However, your dentist may recommend a root canal if the infection has progressed significantly. This procedure involves removing the infected pulp inside the tooth and filling it with a special material to prevent further infection. While root canals may have a reputation for being painful, with modern anesthesia techniques, most patients report minimal discomfort during the procedure.

The dentist can also perform a tooth extraction if the infection is extremely severe or has spread to other body parts; your dentist may recommend a tooth extraction. While this is typically a last resort, it may be necessary to prevent further complications.

How To Prevent Tooth Infections From Occurring

To prevent tooth infections, you should follow a good oral hygiene routine. Avoiding sugary foods can also help prevent tooth decay and infections. Sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth, forming plaque that can cause cavities and gum disease. Instead, choose a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. If you play contact sports, wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth from injury. Trauma to the teeth can lead to infections if left untreated.


Ignoring a tooth infection can lead to many complications, including abscesses, bone loss, and even sepsis. It’s essential to seek treatment as soon as possible, as the longer you leave a tooth infection untreated, the more damage it can cause. Visit Knoxville Dental Associates for assistance if you have a tooth infection.