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Reasons for excruciating pain months after filling?



Jan 20, 2011
I had a few fillings and a root canal done back in Feb. On the top right side, I only needed one filling, but it was a deep one. The dentist informed me that it could need a root canal in the future. It's been months with a few little blips of pain here and there (like if I ate something super crunchy too fast), but nothing major or anything that worried me.

Starting about a week ago, I started having intense pain when I would eat anything. Even softer foods are off limits. Now it's to the point that if I lay on my right cheek to sleep, there's incredible pain.

I *think* it's the tooth my dentist did the filling on but it's so hard to tell with teeth where the pain is coming from. I have an appointment for September 1, but what can I do meantime and what could be causing this? I'm so scared I'm going to need another root canal, more for the financial burden than the physical one because my insurance has nearly maxed out and I need other work done too before it refills for the new year. :(
If you are in severe pain, there dentist should make you a priority at least for a 'get you out of pain' appointment. That is one of the benefits supposedly of being a registered patient or as the Americans say 'a patient of record'. If infection is present you could maybe usefully be taking antibiotics in the meantime for instance.

I can't answer the financial insurance aspects, merely sympathise but saving an important tooth with a root canal should be higher in the scheme of things than routine treatment probably. Routine can probably wait a while. You may want to ask your dentist for a referral to an endodontist to do the root canal to give you the best chance of success.

Ibuprofen is best for tooth pain. Read the label and check the contraindications. It really helps to take it before bed time, and it's gentler to your stomach if you take it after food.

Get the tooth looked at as soon as possible. If it's really bad, you need to get it sorted. I've tried to live on pills myself, but it's no fun.

Good luck!