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Have you ever heard of a tooth abscess or a tooth infection? While the two can be caused by similar issues, there are actually a few important differences between the two. For instance, while both issues will need professional treatment, the treatments could be very different. Still, what are the differences between a tooth infection and an abscess?

You may know that your bodies typically fight off infections on their own, but did you know that your teeth can’t fight off tooth infections? Unfortunately, tooth infections are almost always in the center of your tooth, where your body isn’t able to send antibodies. In other words, a tooth infection will rarely go away on its own. Instead, you’ll need to visit a dentist for root canal therapy.

Tooth infections can be caused when decay or trauma kill your nerve. Unfortunately, if you have a tooth infection, it may spread quickly. This infection can also spread to the area between your tooth and your jaw bone, leading to a painful abscess. Fortunately, your body may be able to fight the abscess for a time, but it won’t be able to treat the infection in your tooth.

In other words, if you prevent a tooth infection—or catch and address the problem quickly—you may be able to avoid an abscess altogether. However, there are a few things you should be able to do to reduce your chances of having a tooth infection. For instance, brushing and flossing can help you avoid these issues. Similarly, you should visit your dentist once every six months. Also, by following a healthy diet—with plenty of fruits and vegetables—you may be able to avoid dental decay.

If you’re interested in learning more about a tooth infection or an abscess, please don’t hesitate to contact New London Complete Health Dentistry at 419-929-1544. Dr. Joshua Merrill and our team will be happy to address any questions you may have.