Q. What causes toothache once the filling chipped off?

Answered by
Dr. Beryl F
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 15, 2020 and last reviewed on: Jan 20, 2020

Hello doctor,

I flossed by a tooth where a filling almost came out and my tooth and gum have been hurting all night. Also have a tooth that is by this molar that fell or chipped out. I do not know if it is an abscess or an exposed nerve in my molar that is right behind it. Took Tylenol 2 every 6 hours twice. It did not help. Used Benzocaine on the area. Helped 20 %. Do not feel comfortable using it at home.



Welcome to

Is the pain sharp or dull? Any gum swelling? If the pain is sharp, lancinating and referring to the same side jaw, temple, ear or throat, then this could be from the tooth with the chipped out filling. Most chipped out fillings expose the underlying nerve which causes severe pain. Ideally an X-ray is required to determine the depth of the cavity and to check for nerve involvement. If the nerve is involved, a root canal treatment and crown procedure will be done to save that tooth.

If the pain is from the gums and is dull in nature, this could be an accidental gum injury due to flossing or there is a chance of the attempted food deposit to get deeply pushed into the gums causing this pain. If this is the case, a deep localized scaling should be performed under local anaesthesia to relieve any deeply wedged food deposit. A clinical examination and X-ray is required to diagnose the cause of this pain. I see that taking painkillers and topical anaesthetic in this situation were not much of help to you. Please visit your nearby dentist immediately and get the root cause identified. Meanwhile, try warm saline mouth rinses and avoid hot, spicy foods which may aggravate your pain.

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