Can you die from an abscessed tooth?
It's not so much that you'll die of pain, of course, but dentists and research confirm that an untreated abscess can infect other parts of the body, either through the bones or the bloodstream. Most people won't die from a toothache, but it's a condition that if left untreated can lead to the worst: a fatal result.
However, tooth decay and gum disease are not trivial and should never be considered as such. They are chronic diseases, and can be the root cause for systemic infections and degenerative conditions which may eventually lead to death. Yes, death can be caused by a simple toothache.
- Enamel can repair itself by using minerals from saliva, and fluoride from toothpaste or other sources. But if the tooth decay process continues, more minerals are lost. Over time, the enamel is weakened and destroyed, forming a cavity. A cavity is permanent damage that a dentist has to repair with a filling.
- Cavities take time to form. A person doesn't just get a cavity overnight. It typically takes months, or possibly even years, before the decay process has advanced to a point where it requires attention. (That's why your dentist feels comfortable enough only examining you every 6 months.)
- Signs may include white spots on the teeth that appear first. Then, an early cavity appears that has a light brown color on the tooth. The tooth color progressively becomes darker and a hole (cavitation) may appear. Symptoms, such as sensitivity to sweets and cold beverages or foods may occur.
Updated: 2nd October 2019