can tooth infection spread to the brain

Can tooth infection spread to the brain? Can there be a brain abscess of dental origin? What are the different types of dental infections? What are the symptoms of a dental infection spreading to the brain? Finally, what should be done in this case?

I. Different Types of Tooth Infections

1. Dental Abscesses

Dental abscesses are oral pathologies that manifest themselves by the appearance of a painful swelling full of pus.

The latter can be located on the gum or under a tooth. Dental abscesses turn the gums red and are caused by a bacterial infection.

2. Cavities 

Cavities are the most common oral pathology. It is a bacterial infection that can affect one or more teeth.

Dental cavities are caused by the abusive consumption of refined sugars. The tooth attacked by the bacteria starts to become sensitive and can become hollow.

3. Gingivitis

When your gums are red, inflamed, and painful, it often means you have gingivitis. Gingivitis is an infection affecting the gums.

It occurs when tartar has developed into plaque. The bacteria present spread to the gums and attack them. Eventually, tooth loss is even possible.

4. Other Dental Infections

Other infections can affect the teeth and gums. For example, we can mention dental canker sores, a kind of very painful lesion affecting the mouth.

Another example is thrush, which is caused by the growth of a fungus called Candida Albicans. When gingivitis progresses, it is called periodontitis. Periodontitis is a serious threat to oral health.

II. Can Tooth Infection Spread to the Brain?

1. What Is Brain Abscess?

A brain abscess is defined as a collection of pus inside the brain. This pocket of pus is usually the result of an infection in this area.

It can also happen that the bloodstream has spread bacteria into the brain from another part of the body.

2. Can a Tooth Infection Cause Brain Abscess?

A dental infection can cause a brain abscess. Bacteria from the tooth and mouth can reach the brain, especially through the bloodstream.

Tooth and ear infections are responsible for about 20 to 30% of the occurrence of a dental abscess.

III. Symptoms of Tooth Infection Spreading to the Brain

1. Headache

Headaches are one of the main symptoms of a brain abscess. Because the infection is present in the brain, the brain becomes inflamed in some way.

The pain is then felt by the affected person because of the high blood pressure. But headaches alone are not enough to assume that a brain abscess is involved.

2. Fever

When we talk about infection, we usually also talk about fever. Fever almost always occurs when the body is attacked by bacteria because the cells of the human body defend themselves against microbes.

This is what happens when a dental infection spreads to the brain.

3. Visual Changes

The presence of a brain abscess, or dental infection that has spread to the brain, also manifests itself through visual changes.

Vision may become blurred. The brain controls many organs and is responsible for virtually all of the body’s functioning.

It is therefore normal for vision to be affected when the brain is affected.

4. Vomiting

Vomiting is another symptom of a brain abscess. Because there are many reasons why you may suffer from vomiting.

This symptom is representative and significant when combined with others, such as fever and headache.

5. Nausea

As with vomiting, you can expect to experience nausea if you have a dental infection that has affected your brain.

Nausea is one of the signs of this type of condition, which can lead to vomiting and dizziness.

Some smells will be very unpleasant and will make you feel sick.

6. Chills

Once the brain is infected, a fever develops. With fever, it is common for your body temperature to change and you may feel chills. This is a classic sign of bacterial infection.

7. Body Weakness

As the dental infection spreads to the brain through the bloodstream, the immune system sets out to defend itself against the bacteria.

Fever may occur, as well as chills and body weakness. Because it is infected, the body is less alert and you are more tired.

8. Mood Swings

Moods are caused by hormones, and the brain plays a big role in the human body’s hormone production.

For this reason, when you have a dental infection that has reached the brain, unexplained mood changes are common. You should ask yourself questions if this is happening to you.

9. Stun

If you have a brain abscess, it is common to experience dizziness. You will feel less alert, have a constant urge to sleep and have trouble staying focused.

Dizziness or even fainting is a sign of a brain infection. It is important to watch out for this because a coma is possible if it is not treated.

10. Decreased Speech

The brain is the organ that is responsible for many functions. One of these is speech. Because the brain allows the formation of words, when it is infected, it is possible to have speech disorders.

Aphasia is then possible if the left hemisphere of the brain is affected.

IV. Other Questions Concerning Dental Infection Spreading to the Brain

1. Can Dental Problems Cause Brain Fog?

Brain fog can indeed be caused by various dental problems. It can happen when the dental infection has spread to the brain.

In this case, the affected person may experience a variety of symptoms, including confusion and difficulty concentrating. Two manifestations of brain fog.

2. Are Tooth Nerves Connected to the Brain?

Yes, the nerves in the teeth are connected to the brain. There are 12 pairs of cranial nerves. The head, neck, and trunk are associated with these nerves.

In the tooth, there is the pulp, which is full of nerves, which themselves are parts of the maxillary nerve, itself part of the trigeminal nerve. The nerve of the tooth is therefore connected to the central nervous system.

3. Can a Tooth Infection Kill You?

A tooth infection can be fatal if left untreated. Infection is the spread of bacteria.

In the mouth, as in any other part of the body, it can spread if not properly treated.

It becomes possible for sepsis to develop, and the risk of death becomes great.

4. Can a Tooth Infection Affect Your Memory?

A dental infection can affect your memory because it can reach the brain. Moreover, when you suffer from neuralgia, for example, the pain is such that you have difficulty concentrating.

It is not uncommon for a toothache to be accompanied by difficulties in memorizing.

5. Can a Tooth Infection Cause Your Head to Hurt?

It is indeed possible for a toothache to cause head pain. Toothache, or dental neuralgia, can be a symptom of severe head pain.

It is also possible that periodontitis gives you migraines and headaches. Unfortunately, this happens frequently.

6. Can Tooth Infection Cause Gastritis?

There is a bacterium known as Helicobacter Pylori, which is responsible for serious intestinal problems.

These bacteria can be found on dental plaque, so it has been theorized that teeth can be responsible for reinfection with Helicobacter Pylori.

7. Can a Tooth Infection Cause Dementia?

Serious studies have established links between periodontitis and Alzheimer’s disease. According to these studies, there is a strong link between oral health and the onset of this mental illness.

The enzyme responsible for gingivitis, gingipain, once in the bloodstream reaches the brain and inflames the hippocampus, the area responsible for memory.

8. Can Tooth Infection Make You Dizzy?

A dental infection can cause a brain abscess, which in turn causes dizziness and lightheadedness.

So yes, it is normal to have dizziness that was caused by a dental infection. This happens especially if the infection is not treated.

9. Does Mouth Bacteria Cause Memory Loss?

Although it is difficult to say that dental bacteria directly cause memory loss, indirectly they can. When the bacteria have reached the brain, a brain abscess is a concern. In this case, memory loss may occur because of the infection.

10. Can a Tooth Infection Harm Your Body?

All bacterial infections have the potential to cause several diseases and sometimes death. When bacteria spread through the body from their starting point, you risk sepsis.

No matter where the infection originated, it is always possible to become completely infected with bacteria. So yes, a dental infection can harm your body.

11. Can Tooth Infection Spread to the Sinus?

Sometimes a tooth infection can spread to the sinuses. Some teeth are directly connected to the sinuses, called sinus teeth.

These are found in the maxillae, which is why they are called maxillary sinusitis. This type of sinusitis is caused by a dental infection.

12. Will Tooth Infection Show Up in Blood Work?

Blood tests can detect inflammation or infection. This is the inflammatory test, through which the doctor can diagnose inflammation or infection.

This type of examination can detect infection, regardless of its origin, whether it is dental or other.

Useful Links:

Presentation, etiology, and outcome of brain infections

Improving Diagnosis and Management of Suspected Brain Infections

Brain abscess due to odontogenic infection

Can I Eat Bread After Tooth Extraction?

How long does a loose tooth take to heal?

Is Coffee Bad for Your Teeth and Gums?