Why do I Need Tooth Abscess Treatment After a Filling?

When a filling leads to the need for tooth abscess treatment, it raises some questions.  Did the filling cause an abscess?  

Michael's question

What causes an abscess after a filling has been fitted?

I had a filling done six months ago. After suffering some discomfort the filling was removed under which there was internal bleeding and an abscess.

I now need root canal treatment.


My reply


Hi Michael, A tooth can become abscessed for a few reasons. It happens when the nerve of the tooth gets insulted or traumatized. 


If the cavity you had was large, the filling to repair it will also be large.


A large filling is close to your nerve. The process of removing decay and preparing a tooth for a filling can traumatize the nerve. 

It is not unusual for a large filling to be sensitive to cold or pressure after the filling is done.  Sometimes the nerve can recover from the insult...other times not. 

Teeth that don't recover need a root canal.

Dentists are not always able to predict how your tooth will respond and recover after having a large filling placed.

Most dentist prefer to be conservative and wait to see how the tooth reacts before doing a root canal. They are hoping to save you money and time.

How to tell between normal sensitivity and a tooth abscess

It is not unusual for a tooth to be sensitive after a filling.  Not every sensitive tooth needs a root canal.

Gradual improvement in your symptoms is a very good sign that your nerve is recovering from the procedure and does not need tooth abscess treatment.

A new filling that is too big or "high" can also make a tooth sensitive. 

Fillings that don't fit perfectly make the way your teeth fit together (your bite) uneven. Because it causes extra pressure on one or two teeth, an uneven bite can keep the nerve traumatized. 

This problem can be easily fixed with a quick and painless adjustment by your dentist. If you have a tooth that is a little bit sensitive after having a filling, checking the occlusion (the bite) to be sure the filling is not too big is the first step.

Be sure to have regular check ups and dental xrays taken. The best way to avoid abscessed teeth is to find and treat dental cavities before they get too big.

As much as we would all rather not have tooth abscess treatment aka a root canal, it does get you out of pain and restores the health of your tooth:)

Here is an article about the various causes of tooth pain after a filling is placed.


Thanks for writing,
I hope this helps:)

~Shelly

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