It's possible to die from getting all of your teeth pulled but the chances of it happening are incredibly slim so the odds are in your favor. You're much more likely to die from other natural causes so don't be scared if you need a full mouth extraction.
We will explain why it isn't likely for you to perish during multiple extractions. Post-operative care has come a long way since ancient times.
Can you die from extractions?
A tooth extraction is a surgical oral procedure and as with all surgeries, the risk of death is a potential adverse outcome. The risk also consequently increases with multiple simultaneous extractions done at once.
The more teeth that need to be taken out at one time, the higher the risk will be. A full mouth of extractions will have the highest risk since it includes 32 teeth, which equates to 32 extractions.
Four patients with hereditary angioedema died after having a tooth extracted.
3 of the patients died of asphyxiation the night after surgery
The 4th patient died the second night afterwards.
The above report was the only research study which we found that spoke about tooth removal deaths. Yes, all of the patients did have a hereditary disease which led to the complication.
Significance of hereditary angioedema:
Potential lip swelling, facial swelling, tongue edema and laryngeal edema with upper airway obstruction as complications.
Adverse effects can be prevented or minimized with preoperative prophylaxis (attenuated androgens, fresh frozen plasma, C1NH concentrate and antifibrinolytics.)
Causes of death
Based on the case report above, one potential cause of death from getting your teeth removed is due to a hereditary disease. However, there are a couple of other factors which may contribute as well.
Hereditary angioedema. Results in swelling that can lead to airway obstruction. Ultimately you die because you can't breath.
Severe bleeding. If you don't stop the bleeding after your extraction, you can potentially die if you lose too much blood. This risk is highest during full mouth extractions because every tooth socket is now bleeding.
Clotting disorders. If you've a disorder that interferes with your blood clotting, you will be at higher risk for severe bleeding. The time it takes for you to stop ozzing blood will be delayed compared to a normal person.
Post-surgical infection. Surgical sites and wounds are prime targets for infections. Full mouth teeth removal has a high risk since there are multiple sockets to get infected.
If all of the above are left unmanaged, you can potentially die from removing your teeth.
Dental complication mortality rate
Despite the morbid news of potential death from having all of your teeth taken out, the mortality rate for dental complications are quite low.
Studies have shown that over the past 55 years, deaths related to dentistry are a rare occurrence. The risk of death is approximately 1 in 10 million people per year. Therefore it is quite rare and uncommon for someone to die from a dental complication.
To put that figure into perspective, you can compare it with other death statistics.
Cause of death
1 in 10 million
173.8 in 100,000
41.1 in 100,000
25.4 in 100,000
14.3 in 100,000
CDC for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Car crash mortality statistics.
In summary, you are much more likely to die from other causes rather than at the dentist. Yes, that includes getting all of your teeth removed in a single visit.
Tips to prevent adverse outcomes
There are many things which your dentist does for you that can minimize and prevent you from dying after a full mouth of extractions.
Antibiotics. While antibiotics aren't always necessary for extractions, removing all of the teeth from your entire mouth is an indication for them. The risk to benefit favors taking a full course of amoxicillin in order to minimize chances of infection.
Immediate dentures. Wearing immediate dentures right after the full mouth of extractions can help stop bleeding from the tooth sockets. Its effect is equivalent to biting on gauze.
Health screening. In order to minimize mishaps, every patient is required to update their medical history annually at the dentist. They will also review your health conditions with you prior to starting so complications don't occur.
Most patients that are getting all of their teeth taken out usually do so in conjunction with getting immediate dentures. These are false teeth that are made before your surgery and are inserted into your mouth on the day of the appointment.
Essentially, you leave with new teeth in your mouth despite getting all of your natural ones taken out the same day.
How immediate dentures control socket bleeding is that they apply pressure to the sockets as long as you stay biting down. They serve a similar function as biting on gauze to staunch the heme.
Another effect of these removable false teeth is that they help to control the swelling and guide the gum healing.
While you can die from having all of your teeth taken out, the chances of it happening are quite rare. Based on statistics over the past 55 years, roughly 1 in 10 million people will die of a dental complication.
You are 1,430x more likely to die from a car crash than from being at the dentist. Hopefully that puts your fears at ease.