Q. Can I die from a tooth infection?

Answered by
Dr. Asma Parveen
and medically reviewed by Dr.Sowmiya
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 05, 2017 and last reviewed on: Jan 25, 2022

Hello doctor,

I have an abscessed tooth. The tooth is almost gone. I will have to get surgically removed and do not have the money. I was wondering. Can I die from the infection? I have been on antibiotics from Penicillin to Amoxicillin to Tramadol. At about 1 AM, I felt the same pain I had before. But, it was just the one tooth and not my whole left side. It felt like it was trying to come out on its own again, then felt like a needle touched on what was left of the tooth. I yelled, ouch. It tasted funny and weird. I touched the tooth, and it was bleeding. I looked in the mirror and saw blood. I got terrified and asked my mom what I could do. She asked me to rinse my mouth with warm water. I did, but I still taste that funny stuff. Should I go to the emergency room?



Welcome to

We are here to help you. After going through your complaint and looking at your X-ray, it sounds like a 'chronic periapical abscess,' which is the presence of pus and infection in the affected tooth due to a cavity left untreated. You cannot die due to an acute infection but need to get it treated as early as possible to prevent further infection. Since I have not seen the tooth clinically, I would request you send a picture of the tooth. If some tooth structure is left clinically, it can also be saved through a root canal treatment with post and core. For the time being, I suggest you continue with the same medication for five days. Do warm saline rinses at least five to six times a day for a week. This will take care of the abscess. Avoid any external heat application to prevent swelling. Do some ice pack application for half an hour daily. And the funny taste which you mentioned is because of pus. If the problem persists even after two days, you need to visit your dentist for an extraction.

Hopefully, this helps.


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