How Long Can A Tooth Infection Go Untreated (And Why)?

How Long Can A Tooth Infection Go Untreated (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up to 1 years

The tooth infection will not go on its own, and they need treatment at the earliest. If someone will not treat the tooth infection in the initial stage, then it will stay for 5 to 12 months (or more). Sometimes, the tooth infection can kill a human as it can spread to other tissues in a few months. The tooth infection is the result of the bacteria affecting the soft tissues or nerves of the tooth.

The pulp (soft tissues) can be affected due to any tooth injury, tooth decay, or any dental method that happened previously. Minor tooth infections can bring many repercussions if left untreated for more time.

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How Long Can A Tooth Infection Go Untreated?

Tooth Infection How Long Can A Tooth Infection Go Untreated
Minimum Time2 to 4 weeks
Maximum Time12 months or more

Untreated dental abscesses can be a dangerous cause of dental infections. The dental abscess is of two types. These are:
One can happen or form under the tooth and is called a periapical abscess.
The other can happen or form in the supporting bone and gum. This type of abscess is known as a periodontal abscess.

The abscessed tooth with a very sharp pain is identified as an acute abscess. An acute abscess would cause abrupt pain and would come extremely quick. If the pain of the abscess is very low and the person is experiencing it for a long time, then it is a chronic abscess.

Chronic abscesses are more dangerous and difficult to treat than acute abscesses. The chronic abscess can cause damage to the jawbone, soft tissue, and tooth. If the chronic abscess infection is left untreated for a long time, then the person may face huge repercussions. In chronic abscess, the person will not take steps for treatments as the pain is quite bearable.

In acute abscess infection, the person will not be able to bear the pain as it would be huge. Therefore leaving the chronic abscess untreated for a long time can bring destruction for the body and oral health of the affected person.

In periodontal abscess, the infection takes place in the gap between the gums and teeth. The main reason behind the periodontal abscess is the food stuck between the spaces. This would call for many other gum diseases such as gingivitis. If someone ignores the periodontal diseases and is left untreated for a long time period (around a few months).

Then this will cause tooth loss or severe gum diseases.

Why Can A Tooth Infection Go Untreated For This Long?

It is not good to ignore tooth infections even if it is minor gum swelling. The minor tooth infection can stay untreated for around one year and can slowly spread to the whole body. Some of the symptoms of tooth infection are:
High-intensity pain in jawbone, teeth, and gums.
Inflamed gums and teeth.
Pain while chewing or biting hard foods
Sensitivity to extremely cold and hot foods
People find it difficult when swallowing food
Difficulty in breathing and bad smell

The tooth infection takes some time to show its repercussion and therefore, it may stay for some time without asking for treatment. This doesn’t mean the person can avoid treatment of the infection. If the infection goes on increasing and it is not treated for a long time, then it may cause sepsis.

Sepsis is a response to infection and is a type of blood infection. Many people can die due to the problem of sepsis. Therefore leaving major tooth infections without treatment for a long time can be dangerous for the brain and body.


A tooth infection can stay for a long time without treatment. It may stay for around 12 months or more. It’s always good to go for a check-up at the initial stage once the symptoms are visible. The person can face many problems such as meningitis. People with weak immune systems will be at higher risk to get meningitis after having a tooth infection.

If the tooth infection is left untreated, then slowly it will enter the person’s bloodstream and will affect the brain and spinal cord.


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