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Rotted wisdom teeth = fear of sudden death



Junior member
Oct 18, 2022
Dawson Creek
Hello everyone and thank you for accepting my request to join the forum. As a quick background, I am 26 years old and I'm a hypochondriac who also developed the fear of dentists when I was a toddler which resulted in me running away from home and hiding on my neighbours property. Fast forward a couple or so years later, my family booked a school dentist for me or someone did without my knowledge and I broke down in tears during school from the shock.

My current dental state is that I haven't seen a dentist since about mid 2010s and when I saw them, it was just for the regular exams which I learned to not fear as much over the years but I was still scared of teeth extractions and surgeries. In summer of 2012, I was told that I needed to have all my wisdom teeth extracted as well as one of my bottom left side pre-molars and one of my bottom right side pre-molars which is not in-line with the rest and is angling sideways. Around mid 2010s, my left side bottom pre-molar noted above chipped and gum grew over top of the centre-hole but the exposed tips are like jet black and in 2019, my right side bottom pre-molar that was angling and not in line had already turned partially black and ached when sleeping around 2019 summer and now it only aches occasionally if I eat lots of sugar and I've been flossing it good since.

Now the wisdom teeth are what worries me. Just last year in July 2021, my very rear left bottom wisdom tooth had chipped from the centre (the chipping and occasional aches started to occur just months before the emergency visit) and I ate cookies or some sweet stuff before bed and it ached just a little for hours and I tried to use a salt rinse as well as eating onions to no avail and I tried to sleep and during which the pain which was from the tooth and radiated into my entire left side jawline became so tremendous that I rushed into the emergency and got some pain meds and some drops which miraculously stopped the pain for good and I never felt pain from that tooth that I remember (hard to say, maybe I did but not as much) after that and it kept chipping and chipping over the months until the state that it is in now which this very rear bottom left molar/wisdom tooth is black in the centre and surrounded by just the little teeth that remains and I do floss it, gently pick it, clean it and brush it daily. Maybe the nerve died but I am not sure. A fear that got me motivated to post this and what not is that the tooth right next to the very rear bottom, left side wisdom tooth is chipping like the one before it and it did have some slight ache like after eating sugar around October 17 or 18 2022 and it scared me as it reminded me of that hospital trip back in July of last year. Now, for years I put off getting my teeth extracted because not only did I develop the fear of dentists from those childhood experiences, but because I am also a hypochondriac which makes me scared of getting x-rays and I am scared of something going wrong during surgery and dying. The fear of those was pretty strong for me. Last year I did muster up the courage to see a dentist and get an X-ray and sure enough, all those teeth I noted above are the ones that need extracting and I did finally got the will to finally get them extracted but since I am also struggling hard financially, I was not able to afford surgery as it was going to cost me thousands so now over a year later and still struggling financially, the same thing may be happening to my other molar. I will start saving for my teeth extractions again but it is unfortunate that I can barely keep up because I also need money for gas, food, bills and I barely have any money to even enjoy myself now a days.

To cut to my main concerns and I apologize since this is more of a hypochondriac side of me, I heard terrifying stories of random people just not getting their rotted/infected teeth treated and just suddenly keeling over dead from a sudden heart attack, blood poisoning or something related to their teeth decay or having the infection travel and destroy their brain or other parts of their body and I'm just scared of keeling over one day because I cannot afford dental care here where I live. My main questions are:

1. Has there been people who had one or more of their very bottom rear wisdom tooth chip and rot for years or even 10 years plus without keeling over dead or getting heart disease, blood poisoning, infection travelling to the brain, or anything horrible?

2. Does having rotten wisdom teeth really cause chronic fatigue and do you know anyone (or maybe you, the reader) that has had rotted wisdom teeth for years and don't have chronic fatigue?

And 3, what are the chances of me developing heart disease, having a sudden teeth infection that spreads everywhere in the body, brain rot, blood poisoning or something scary for having rotted and chipped wisdom teeth for years from now?

As a disclaimer, of course I'm not asking for people to talk me out of getting my teeth pulled. I finally overcame my fear of surgeries and was willing to get it done until I saw how much it would cost and now it lead me to a different set of problems such as a new fear of suddenly keeling over dead because of an untreated, chipped wisdom tooth. It's like every official medical/dental site about teeth rot that I read claims to lead to horrible fates and I'm just wanting to live long enough to make enough money and get my teeth fixed. I am frustrated that I feel like I am terminally ill because of my rotted wisdom teeth and that I will inevitably just one day die from some heart attack, infection, blood poisoning or something like that as I continue to save up for surgery.

Thank you for viewing and any help in answering my questions will be greatly appreciated.
@Visualfears Hi. The situation with your wisdom teeth sounds very rough. I am afraid I don't know the answers to your questions exactly, but wanted to offer a couple things that might help. When I had an infected tooth and couldn't get to the dentist, I saw a medical doctor who treated me with antibiotics for it, which made it a lot better. I used a telehealth doctor service, PlushCare, but I have also heard of people using urgent care clinics, or just going to their regular doctor. Another thing, I have heard of people who cannot afford treatment getting free treatment at colleges where dentists train or dental schools. Maybe that might be a way to get the teeth extracted affordably. Lastly, I have tons of dental questions, and questions about my dental issues, one way that I get them answered is through Denteractive. You can chat with a dentist on there, and send them pictures and xrays. It costs $10 to chat but the dentists are very good and can answer a lot of dental questions in one sitting. I feel like they could answer every one of the questions in your post. Good luck to you with everything!
I haven't been on this forum for a long time. But I ventured onto here and saw your post, and since I have experience with this sort of thing, I figured I'd make a reply.

For your first question, my lower left wisdom tooth broke off at the gumline just over two years ago. My upper right wisdom tooth started rotting and slowly crumbling somewhere around eight or nine years ago, so it's been a long time for both of them, and all I have left now are the roots of these two teeth. About two years ago I did get an infection in my wisdom teeth and went through roughly three courses of antibiotics, but that's about it. Haven't had any pain or problems since. Every now and then I get an awful taste in my mouth in the lower left side. Probably a recurring infection. So I chew gum and use mouthwash more often so I'm not tasting it all the time.

For your second question, I know I struggle with chronic fatigue that honestly makes it difficult to get out of bed, stand up and walk some days. Like for real, I'm 38 and yet my body feels like I'm 80 sometimes. But I've had covid and the horrible fatigue didn't start until after I caught the virus. I honestly feel like it's all covid related and doesn't have much to do with my wisdom teeth.

For your third question, I'm not a medical or dental expert, but the chances are probably pretty low that you'll get a serious infection and die from it. When I was on this forum more often, I used to see the dentists saying that is extremely rare and almost never happens. I think they said bacteria from dental infections is delicate and can't survive in other parts of the body very well. Like if you swallow the germs the acid in your stomach kills it before it spreads. Something like that. Like I said, not a trained professional, but you get the idea. Google searches are good at scaring people, but those horror stories you hear about aren't much of a reality.

Either way, I've been living with wisdom teeth that have been slowly decaying for about a decade and I'm still alive. I deal with chronic headaches and fatigue, but all of that came to be after my fist covid infection, then steadily got worse after the second time I had the virus. My wisdom teeth are just dead at this point and aren't going anywhere any time soon. They don't bother me. I don't think they'll kill me or cause serious health problems. The covid did more harm than two teeth. At least with them I took antibiotics, got better, and that was pretty much that.
I want to reassure you that catie said all you need to hear until you see a dentist. I have 3 wisdom teeth left and none are bothering me. I am told anytime I'm at the dentist that they need to come out but so far no issues are occurring.

I don't think you will die from it. I've read a few dentists on here who said it's extremely rare to die from infected teeth and anyone who does had a weak immune system (cancer etc) so don't make yourself sick with worry!
One thing I forgot to mention in my other comment. I just got two wisdom teeth removed by a general dentist. He did not charge like an oral surgeon and charged $178 per tooth. You may be able to avoid paying thousands by going to a general dentist instead of an oral surgeon, and removing one or two teeth at a time instead of all at once. I wasn't aware of this option for a long time, and thought oral surgeons were the only way to go, but I learned that some general dentists will do it, and it is usually a lot cheaper.
I want to thank you all (NervousUSA, honeybee91, and Catie McBain) for the help.

Sounds like a good idea with dental colleges and schools for cheaper alternatives. I will look into that and perhaps some sort of medical insurance too. I was referred to an oral surgeon because a few of my teeth are so chipped below or flushed with the gum line that no regular dentist where I live can do it for cheaper. So far, nothing serious happened with my newly chipped molar and I've been taking care of them with what I have.

Also, it is great to hear from real people who had the same experiences with their teeth as I tried looking at blogs, official dental health websites of all sorts and I couldn't find the reassurance and always made me feel like my teeth was a ticking time bomb for a series of guaranteed health issues with my bad teeth health. Knowing that there are people out there who had rotted wisdom teeth for years gives me hope that I can have the time to get my teeth taken care of once and for all after these years.
@honeybee91Hello and sorry to ask again in this thread. Just a little bit of a flare up on my teeth hypochondria.

I was wondering how many years you've had your bad wisdom teeth and is one of them your bottom wisdom tooth? By bad, do you mean chipped and/or rotten? So far I've been really cleaning my teeth well every day and no problems.

My recent fear now is what if bad wisdom teeth affects heart health if so by how much? Maybe I'm just being fearful again from all these fear google throws at me when I try to look for some answers.
April 20/2023 update: A couple of nights ago, the rest of my bottom left side wisdom tooth came out and now I just have straight gum! I'm so happy about this 😊.
April 20/2023 update: A couple of nights ago, the rest of my bottom left side wisdom tooth came out and now I just have straight gum! I'm so happy about this 😊.
I had the same thing happen a couple weeks ago. My upper right wisdom tooth kept crumbling down to the gumline, then pieces of the roots started coming out. Finally a big chunk came out and I was left with a hole in my gums that was open and sore for a couple days. I'm not entirely sure, but I think the last of the roots fell out. Now it's healed over but I can still feel an indentation where the tooth used to be, like I guess that's the space left behind that'll eventually heal completely.

Either way, it's not bothering me anymore. Maybe if I wait long enough the other one will come out too. Luckily I have a lot of patience. I'm not going anywhere anyway so I'll wait.
@Catie McBain So that does actually happen then? Ive been terrified to get an upper 2nd premolar extracted due to dry socket fears and have been praying everyday that it will just fall out eventually. I broke it in labour 9 years ago. I have no tooth left and barely any root left either. No pain. This has given me a bit of hope x

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