Tooth sensitivity after filling is a relatively common sensation, particularly if your decay ran deep into your tooth. Overall, any discomfort or sensitivity that you might be concerned about is likely to fade in the days following dental fillings, and shouldn’t deter you from seeking treatment.
Why Dental Fillings Are So Important?
Sometimes the pain and sensitivity associated with dental decay sends us to the dentist in search of relief, in the form of a filling or dental restoration. That discomfort is indicative that your tooth is in need of restorative work. Unfortunately the pain can be distracting or can wake you in the middle of the night but remember – the goal of dental fillings is to address the underlying cause of the problem and address it. And while sensitivity may occur in the aftermath of your procedure, it should not put you off getting treatment.
Untreated tooth decay does not self resolve; it gets worse. It can spread to the adjacent and surrounding teeth or it can run deeper and the infection can spread to your gums or even the bone underneath your gums. It isn’t worth taking a risk with decay. Even if the site of decay is small, it should always be cleaned out and filled up to prevent it from getting worse.
Some Reasons Why You Might Experience Tooth Sensitivity After Filling
Lots of patients report some degree of sensitivity after they have fillings, and there can be a number of reasons why – but the good news is that it is likely to disappear after a day or two.
The Filling Isn’t Correctly Positioned
In the event that you experience sensitivity a few days or weeks after your restoration was done, there could be an issue with the filling or your restored tooth that you should report to your dentist. It is quite possible that the filling hasn’t been positioned correctly and is interfering with your bite.
When dental fillings are positioned too high, they can push down uncomfortably, and will need to be filed down. If this is the case it is quite likely that you will only experience tooth sensitivity when you bite down and your mouth probably feels comfortable the rest of the time.
Are You Experiencing Referred Pain?
Sometimes patients report pain or sensitivity in the teeth surrounding the filled tooth. This is called referred pain and should be discussed with your dentist.
Do You Have Infected Pulp?
In the event that you still feel pain or discomfort a week or two after dental fillings, it could be that you have infected pulp inside your tooth that needs to be cleaned out.
In this instance your dentist would need to clean your tooth canals out and perform a root canal treatment in order to save your tooth and improve your level of comfort.
How Deep Was Your Dental Decay?
If you had extensive or deep dental decay it is quite possible that your dentist simply went too close to your tooth’s nerve when cleaning out the decayed material. This is quite common with deeply decayed teeth and should resolve within a few days.
How To Manage Tooth Sensitivity?
If you still experience tooth sensitivity a week after you have had dental fillings, you should contact your dentist for a check up.
- If your filling was made too high, your dentist will be able to file it down.
- If you experience tooth sensitivity with composite resin dental fillings and your dentist can’t pinpoint any other reason for the sensitivity he or she may recommend a different filling material.
- If the sensitivity has been caused by a nerve inflamed due to infected dental pulp, your dentist may need to perform a root canal treatment or you may need to have the tooth removed and replaced with a dental implant or dental bridge. Your dentist will probably do an x-ray to see what is happening below your gum.
If you feel sensitivity two to three days after your fillings were done and need help managing it, you can try
- Over-the-counter medication to ease pain and inflammation
- Avoiding very hot and cold beverages and foods
- Using toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth
- Chewing on the opposite side of your mouth
Still Experiencing Tooth Sensitivity More Than Three Days After Fillings?
If the sensitivity is persistent and lasts for longer than three days, it’s probably best to see your dentist.
If you have questions about tooth sensitivity after filling and need professional help please contact us for an appointment. (02) 8203 8760.