Why Do I Have Tooth Sensitivity After My Dental Filling?

Why Do I Have Tooth Sensitivity After My Dental Filling

Curious to know about why do I have tooth sensitivity after my dental filling? Find answers here.

It’s usually expected to experience tooth sensitivity after a tooth filling, especially if the filling is deep. However, after leaving the dental clinic, any minor pain or discomfort in or around the treated tooth must subside within a few hours. If that doesn’t happen, it may be an indication that tooth filling has not been successful and so a return dental visit is a must.

If you are fearing tooth sensitivity after filling, thinking what would cause it, or have any other questions coming to mind related to dental filling and associated tooth sensitivity, you have come to the right page. This post by our experts will surely answer your questions and give a clear picture of what to expect from tooth filling and what to do if having tooth sensitivity. Enjoy reading!

What is Dental Filling?

Dental filling treatment is a routine, restorative dental procedure performed to repair minor fractures in the tooth or treat tooth cavities. When done for repairing tooth cavities, the process involves removing the decayed portion of the tooth and then filling the resulting void with a biocompatible filling material such as single or combinations of metals, glass, resin, porcelain, or plastics.   

A dental filling mostly leaves the patient with a sensitive tooth after the effect of the numbing agent wears off. After tooth filling, the patient would feel unusual mouth sensations such as gum tenderness, pain in the tooth when drinking or eating hot or cold food items or breathing in through mouth the cold air; pain during teeth clenching, pain in the teeth adjacent to the filling, and pain in the treated tooth when brushing, eating, or flossing.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity After A Filling

There are several reasons behind tooth sensitivity after a filling. These include:

  • Irritated tooth nerves- When a deep dental filling treatment is done, the tooth nerves can get irritated and become inflamed, thereby causing pain and discomfort. In such cases, the treated tooth causes sharp, uncomfortable sensations. The irritated nerves can heal over time.
  • Pulpitis- Before filling a tooth cavity, a dentist removes the decayed portion of the tooth with a drill that produces heat. Rarely, does this drilling cause the tooth pulp to be inflamed. The condition wherein the centre connective tissue of the tooth gets inflamed is called pulpitis. Pulpitis can be of two kinds: reversible and irreversible. Reversible pulpitis is where the tooth pulp heals over time while the tooth remains sensitive. Irreversible pulpitis is unable to heal itself and root canal therapy will be required.

Moreover, if the dentist does not properly clear the decay of the tooth, the tooth pulp can get infected and inflamed, the gums would swell near the affected tooth, or a pus pocket may be created close to the affected tooth. All this leads to pain and discomfort of the tooth and the tooth sensitivity.  

  • Change in bite alignment- If a dental filling treatment is not done properly, it can impact the bite of the patient and cause pain and discomfort. In case the filling is tooth tall, it can put extra pressure on the teeth as the patient bites down which further can crack the filling and cause pain and discomfort. The bite should be self-corrected over the next couple of weeks till then tooth sensitivity is common while eating. If the filling does not naturally rectify itself, a visit to the dentist will be necessary to file down the filling and get relief from tooth sensitivity.  
  • Referred pain- Some people experience pain in the teeth next to the affected one instead of the source pain. This makes the affected tooth feel sensitive.
  • Allergic reaction- The material used in tooth filling might cause an allergic reaction that leads to tooth sensitivity as well as itching or rashes surrounding the tooth.
  • Multiple tooth surfaces inside the mouth- If the patient has a gold dental crown on one tooth and a silver dental filling on the tooth above or below the capped tooth, an odd sensation might be felt when both tooth surfaces touch one another.  

How Long Will My Tooth Sensitivity Last?

In the majority of the patients, the tooth sensitivity goes away within 2 to 4 weeks, depending upon its cause. If the sensitivity persists longer than 4 weeks, consult the dentist.

How Should I Handle My Tooth Sensitivity after my Tooth Filling?

Most dentists would prescribe the patient to use toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth after receiving a filling. Potassium nitrate is one of the ingredients of such toothpaste that prevents the sensations of the tooth surface from travelling down to the tooth nerves.

Besides using desensitising toothpaste, the patient may consider:

  • taking over-the-counter or prescribed pain-relieving medication or NS-AIDs
  • practising daily good oral hygiene- proper brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice a day and flossing once gently around the treated tooth
  • avoiding hot or cold and acidic food and drinks that could worsen tooth sensitivity
  • chewing food with an opposite healthy side of the mouth
  • getting the filling adjusted properly by the dentist, if bite alignment is disturbed
  • undergoing root canal therapy, only in case of irreversible pulpitis.

Having Tooth Sensitivity After A Filling?

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity after filling, you can get it checked by our professionals at First Point Dental Clinic by scheduling an appointment today. Our dental experts will be able to assess your tooth condition and provide a remedy for your sensitive tooth after filling treatment, whether that requires re-fitting the filling or replacing the dental filling with a new one.