Can A Tooth Abscess Cause A Blood Infection?

2 August 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Decaying teeth are the demon with a tooth abscess because dead tissue and harmful bacteria are the direct results of an infection in the center of your tooth. The white blood cells/pus gathers and will need to be treated with antibiotics. Sometimes, it leads to sepsis which is a blood infection. Continue reading to see what its symptoms are, causes, and possible complications.

Symptoms of Sepsis

If you have abnormal temperatures, flulike symptoms, or shallow breathing, you could be in danger. Here are some of the symptoms you may experience in severe cases:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sources of infection (like the abscessed tooth)
  • Mental status changes (unforeseen)
  • Acidosis (too much acid in the blood)
  • Decreased urine output
  • Decreased platelet count
  • Low blood pressure
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swelling in the face or neck (Lymph nodes) 

If you are diagnosed with sepsis after a tooth infection and it is severe, you could be placed in an intensive care unit (ICU). Once sepsis is present, it is very difficult to stop. However, the tooth is usually infected before the extraction was performed.

Can Lead to Death

If you discover you have a systemic infection, your major organs including the kidneys, brain, and heart can have a weakened blood flow. You could contract a disorder which controls blood clotting (within a vessel) called disseminated intravascular coagulation or DIC. You could have a stroke, heart attack, or even die from the formation of blood clots in your organs.

An Ohio resident is a perfect example of someone who believed he/she was experiencing a sinus infection when in actuality it was a tooth infection which turned into sepsis. The final result was death. Sepsis is one of the leading causes of death.

Elderly Patients are at Risk

For patients with dementia or other similar conditions, they should have someone to assist them when they go home after tooth extractions, or have any symptoms of sepsis or DIC. Instructions need to be followed completely to prevent any of these issues. You need to remain diligent and help your friends or family from this possible dangerous killer.

If you have a toothache, don't postpone visiting your dentist. The infection from the tooth can drain and cause blood poisoning. Also, if you have a tooth extracted, it could become infected with septicemia and turn into sepsis. It is rare, but it can happen. See your dentist so you can get antibiotics to fight this culprit.