Can an infection in your mouth affect your brain?

According to a new study published in the journal Science Advances , bacteria normally present in the mouth can also release toxins that make their way into the brain. Once there, they may contribute to Alzheimer's disease.

Can an infection in your mouth go to your brain?

Though it's incredibly rare, in some instances, a tooth infection can spread to the brain and become a brain abscess, or a pus-filled swelling in the brain.

Can dental problems cause brain problems?

Recent studies have shown oral health directly affects the brain. As periodontal disease is caused by bacteria, individuals with gum disease have an increased risk of difficulty with their basic cognitive functions. When left untreated, gum disease can interfere with a person's memory and his ability to learn.

Can gum infection affect brain?

Gum disease results from infection of the oral tissues holding teeth in place. Bleeding gums, loose teeth, and even tooth loss are the main effects of this disease. Bacteria and the inflammatory molecules they make can travel from infections in the mouth through the bloodstream to the brain.

What can an infection in your mouth lead to?

Mouth infections are the worst. They often lead to unbearable toothaches that leave you unable to get any sleep at night and unfocused during the day. It does not stop there, though. A mouth infection can spread to other areas of your body if it enters your bloodstream, including vital organs like the brain and liver.

How poor oral health affects the rest of you

What happens if a mouth infection goes untreated?

Some of the possible complications of untreated dental infection are osteomyelitis (infection of the nearby bone), sinusitis, dental cyst, infection and clotting of the vessel and sepsis (a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection).

How serious is a mouth infection?

An untreated tooth infection can eventually lead to bacteria in the bloodstream, sometimes called blood poisoning, also known as bacteremia or septicemia. If left untreated, septicemia can cause a severe whole-body infection called sepsis, which can be life-threatening. Early signs of septicemia include: High fever.

How do you know if an infection is spreading to your brain?

A cerebral abscess is an infection in your brain. It is a medical emergency that requires treatment right away. Symptoms can include headache, fever, changes in consciousness, confusion, neck stiffness, vomiting, seizures, weakness, trouble moving, and changes in vision.

What are the symptoms of a tooth infection spreading to the body?

  • Severe, constant, throbbing toothache that can spread to your jawbone, neck or ear.
  • Pain or discomfort with hot and cold temperatures.
  • Pain or discomfort with the pressure of chewing or biting.
  • Fever.
  • Swelling in your face, cheek or neck that may lead to difficulty breathing or swallowing.

How do you know if you have a brain infection?

Symptoms such as vomiting, headache, fever, and lethargy appear 5-10 days following infection. Severe complications include seizures, coma, and permanent neurologic damage.

How does oral bacteria affect the brain?

The presence of oral microbes and their byproducts within the bloodstream and CNS can have detrimental effects on the brain by stimulating the body's neuroinflammatory response.

Can tooth infection cause mental confusion?

This occurs when a tooth infection spreads through the bloodstream, which carries the bacteria directly to the brain. At this point, the pathogen attacks the neurons found in the brain, putting the person at risk of memory loss and other life-altering problems. In severe cases, a brain abscess can develop.

Can rotten teeth affect your brain?

Tooth decay and gum disease can lead to serious health problems, including brain or heart infections. A growing number of older adults have something to smile about: research shows they're keeping their teeth longer.

How long does it take for an infection to go to the brain?

Secondary encephalitis.

Instead of attacking only the cells causing the infection, the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells in the brain. Also known as post-infection encephalitis, secondary encephalitis often occurs 2 to 3 weeks after the initial infection.

Is there a connection between mouth and brain?

Ongoing research has shown a possible link between memory loss and oral health. Our mouths contain billions (yes, billions!) of both good and bad bacteria, which release toxins that have the potential to reach your brain.

Can a tooth infection affect your whole body?

Yes, a tooth infection can affect your whole body. In severe cases, a dental infection can spread to your face, sinuses, neck, jawbone, blood, and even your entire system. Infection vs. abscess — An infection of bacteria can lead to an abscess (AKA a pocket of pus).

How long can a tooth infection go untreated?

In conclusion, the maximum period that an untreated tooth abscess can sustain is 12 months or more. But, such longevity is associated with dangerous complications such as sepsis or even death. Schedule your appointment with a dentist today and get the treatment on time!

How far can a tooth infection spread?

If an infection in the affected tooth is left untreated, it can spread to your face and/or neck. Severe infections can move to even more distant parts of your body. In rare cases, the infection may become systemic, which can affect multiple tissues throughout the body.

How do you test for bacterial infection in the brain?

CT and MRI scans can also be used to diagnose a brain abscess. In some cases, your doctor may need to perform a lumbar puncture, or spinal tap. This involves the removal of a small amount of cerebral spinal fluid to test for any problems other than an infection.

What is the most common route of spread of infection to the brain?

The most common route of transmission is through hematogenous spread. Others gain access to the CNS via direct spread from local infectious foci, after head trauma or neurosurgery, or during vaginal delivery from untreated GBS-colonized mothers.

How do you test for brain infection?

A CSF analysis is used to measure different substances in your cerebrospinal fluid. It may include tests to diagnose: Infectious diseases of the brain and spinal cord, including meningitis and encephalitis. CSF tests for infections look at white blood cells, bacteria, and other substances in the cerebrospinal fluid.

What is the most common mouth infection?

8 Most Common Oral Infections
  • Dental Caries. One of the most common oral infections, dental caries are the primary result of tooth decay. ...
  • Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. ...
  • Herpangina. ...
  • Gingivitis. ...
  • Periodontal Disease. ...
  • Thrush. ...
  • Canker Sores. ...
  • Oral Herpes.

What are the early warning signs of sepsis?

The signs and symptoms of sepsis can include a combination of any of the following:
  • confusion or disorientation,
  • shortness of breath,
  • high heart rate,
  • fever, or shivering, or feeling very cold,
  • extreme pain or discomfort, and.
  • clammy or sweaty skin.

How do I know if I have sepsis from a tooth infection?

Signs of bacteremia could be slight fever, nausea and distal infection. Rarely, bacteremia may resolve on its own. It also may progress into septicemia, a more serious blood infection that is always accompanied by symptoms such as chills, high fever, rapid heartbeat, severe nausea, vomiting and confusion.

Can you have a tooth infection for years?

Likewise, being vigilant about one's dental health is also fundamental in preventing painful conditions like abscesses in the first place. But, we have to underline that dental abscesses can last for months and even years if untreated.