If left untreated, the infection can spread to the neck, head, and other regions of the body. In some cases, bacteria can travel to the heart and settle on the lining of the heart, a heart valve, or a blood vessel; this can cause a condition known as bacterial endocarditis. Using antibiotics to postpone tooth extraction is not the ideal solution if the infection has progressed and reached the nerves. In the event that the tooth has become irreparably infected, there is no choice but to extract it.
After the tooth is extracted, there may still be some infection inside, which must be drained or treated with the help of antibiotics. Unfortunately, infected tooth pulp doesn't heal on its own and requires endodontics to be properly treated. Sometimes, patients may think that a dental infection has healed on its own once they no longer feel pain in the tooth, but this only indicates that the nerves inside the tooth have died. While the patient may no longer feel pain, the infection will still be present inside the tooth.
If left untreated, the bacterial infection can spread to the jaw, brain, blood, and body. Most people are treated for a dental abscess, as the pain caused by an abscess can be extremely severe, even to the point of interfering with daily life. Left untreated, dental abscesses can cause serious complications, such as a stroke, heart attack, or life-threatening sepsis.