Dentist Questions Dentist

How do you know if your filling is infected?

I am a 39 year old female. I have toothache in a tooth with filling. How do you know if your filling is infected?

14 Answers

You need to see a doctor for that problem.
Pain is the first and most important signal, then when you have the pain. A doctor will surely ask you some questions and, depending on that, treat.
Pain and sensitivity.
If the tooth is infected sometimes you can have a pimple on your gums or a swelling near the tooth. The tooth may be painful when you chew on it and may hurt when u have cold/hot. A dental X-ray is the best way to determine if the tooth in question is infected.
Filling can’t be infected, but the tooth can, could be nerve inside the tooth or gums around the tooth, see your dentist to avoid future problems
I can guarantee your "filling" is not infected. The tooth the filling is in may be, but fillings are metal, glass, or plastic (or a combination of those) and don't get infected. If the filling has broken or leaked and bacteria have gotten under or around it, they could invade the tooth and cause carries (dental decay). If your filling was placed a while ago and the tooth is just now starting to hurt you, there is a good chance it, or some other part of the tooth has a problem. If the filling was recently placed and the tooth is hurting you, there is a chance it was very deep (near the nerve of the tooth) and the tooth might be able to adjust to it, or it could have been improperly placed resulting in discomfort on the tooth. As a dentist, we check the tooth to see if it is sensitive to hot or cold or biting or releasing or tapping. If it is, we then want to know how long the sensitivity lasts, the sooner it resolves the better. These tests will give you an idea of the severity of the problem but will not help you fix it.
Hopefully this gives you information to help you when you visit your dentist next to have it checked out.
You have to see a dentist and have xrays taken
As dentists, we are trained by visual exam and X-ray exam to evaluate the tooth and filling to determine if there is decay under the filling or if the nerve is involved. You need to see a dentist.


Bruce L. Elkind, DDS, PA
If you have swelling or pus coming from the gum tissue, that indicates infection. If you do not have those symptoms, it does not mean that the tooth is not infected. You need to go to your dentist so that an X-ray and exam can be completed and verify the status of the tooth.
Tooth infection: "Signs and symptoms of a tooth abscess include severe, persistent, throbbing toothache that can radiate to the jawbone, neck or ear. ... Tender, swollen lymph nodes under your jaw or in your neck. A sudden rush of foul-smelling and foul-tasting, salty fluid in your mouth and pain relief, if the abscess ruptures"
You need a thorough clinical examination of this tooth with a good dentist who will need to take an x-ray to make the correct diagnosis. If you have a toothache already, you should follow this advice as soon as you can.
Having tooth ache pain in a tooth with a filling can have many causes. You may have cracked your filling and food particles are leaking into base of your filling. If you are not a regular flosser, your supporting gum tissues may be infected. You need to see your dentist. Have your problems taken care of and do good home care - floss and brush correctly daily.
You will have swelling associated with that tooth.

The best way to know if you have a re-infection of a tooth with a filling is a visual and X-ray exam. Since you have a toothache the first thing to do is to make sure you know what tooth it is coming from, then determine what is causing this toothache, then how to best alleviate the toothache.

Best of luck to you!

William F. Scott IV, DMD