Thank you for the question.
The odor emanating from a decayed and infected tooth
might make someone else nauseated, but will not make them physically sick. To become physically sick would mean a transmission of the bacteria from your infected tooth to the other persons body. The bacteria causing the infection
and the odor in the tooth is not contagious via air transmission (inhaling and subsequently smelling it).
Any odor coming from your mouth will not seem as bad to you as it does to others. The reason for this lies in the fact that the oral cavity
, the source of our breath, is connected to our nose by way of an opening which lies in the back of our mouth (back in the region of our soft palate). Since noses tend to filter out and ignore background odors, it filters out and ignores our own bad breath. This means it is quite possible for a person to have bad breath, yet not be aware of it. The same is true of the odor of a bad tooth.
you can get from a decayed tooth are eventual pain
and swelling from a resulting infection. This infection, if not treated can spread into the deeper spaces of your head and neck and in rare cases cause death. This is called a cavernous sinus thrombosis and in the days before antibiotics, was around 80% fatal. These days with the availability of antibiotics, these are much rarer and have a high survival rate. Most people use common sense and seek treatment as soon as the swelling appears, getting on antibiotics and either having a root canal
to save the tooth or having it extracted.
I hope this answers your question.
If you have any concerns regarding this issue that I have not addressed, please let me know and I will get back to you with more information.
Sincerely, XXXXX XXXXX DDS