Theriot Family Dental

Will a Tooth Infection Spread to My Brain?

Posted by writeradmin

I was told that I have a tooth infection. I was always taught by my mother that these are serious and should not be left untreated. They can even spread to your brain. The doctor just wrote me a prescription for an antibiotic and told me NOT to take it until a week before my dental appointment. But, my appointment isn’t for another six weeks. Is he putting me in danger?


Dear Catherine,

woman holding her jaw in pain

Bear in mind that I have not examined you or seen any x-rays, so I’m giving generalized advice here. In this case, it is likely that both your mother AND the dentist are correct. Yes, tooth infections are serious and can spread to your brain. If the infection is in your lower jaw it can spread to your heart or close up your throat and cut off your breathing. This is why many tooth infections are considered dental emergencies. If that is the case, why is your dentist not concerned?

Sometimes an infection is so small that there is time before you have anything to worry about. If he delayed your appointment, my suspicion is that your case is one of those.

Where Do You Go From Here?

You have a couple of choices. If you will be worried the entire time, that is not healthy for you either. You can call around and see if you can find a dentist with a more compatible schedule. It may be that this dentist has too many patients to adequately serve them. I once had a doctor who told me he had over 15,000 patients. I’m no longer with that doctor.

If you really like this dentist, you can stay with him and just keep an eye on things. If you feel the infection is getting worse call him and see if he can get you in sooner.

It is great that you are so proactive about your dental care. Believe it or not, it makes your dentistry more affordable. It’s much cheaper to deal with a small cavity than a dental crown, or worse an extraction and tooth replacement.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. John Theirot.