Can A Tooth Naturally Decay Until It's Gone?

Posted on: 1 October 2018


You have a bad tooth in your mouth and you know there is no saving it with the help of a dentist. Whether you are trying to save money by avoiding an extraction or you are one of the estimated five to eight percent of people who avoid the dentist out of fear, you may be tempted to let nature take its course. However, a tooth will rarely decay and naturally fall out on its own without causing at least a few problems. Take a look at some of what could happen if you decide to let a tooth naturally decay until it's gone. 

Severe Pain 

Some people claim that a toothache is one of the most painful things you can ever experience. The pain is oftentimes constant, unavoidable, and extremely hard to mask with regular over-the-counter pain medications. If you have a tooth that is in the process of decaying, you are going to feel this pain often. As the enamel and tooth decay, the nerves that are still very alive and well that are attached to that tooth become exposed. Therefore, everything from eating soft foods, drinking your coffee, or even breathing can become a painful experience. 

Abscesses Are Serious

When you have an open cavity that is allowed to collect food particles, you are more prone to getting an infection in the soft tissue of your mouth. These oral infections, known as abscesses, may not seem all that threatening at first, but they can actually be really serious. Left untreated, an abscessed tooth can leak infection into the bloodstream. Once the infection gets into your bloodstream, it can rapidly spread throughout your body and make you really sick. It is actually possible to die from an abscessed tooth if the situation is not professionally handled. 

Your Other Teeth Are at Risk

So, if you are willing to take a chance on abscesses and are confident that you can handle the pain of waiting for a decaying tooth to come out, there is one other thing to remember. Allowing one tooth to decay can put the rest of your healthy teeth at risk. It's not really that the decay spreads to other teeth; rather, the opening created by the decaying tooth can lead to gum problems that cause issues for your other teeth. Plus, pain associated with chewing with a decaying tooth can cause you to put undue stress on surrounding teeth, which can also lead to problems.