Tooth sensitivity after fillings are actually very common – so don’t be worried!
It’s normal to experience sensitivity for several days after your filling has been put in.
Why Are Teeth Sensitive After Fillings?
Your filling is complete and has replaced the decayed tooth area, but you still may be experiencing pain a few days after your filling.
A filling can be somewhat stressful for a tooth, and it’s not uncommon to experience filling sensitivity within the first few days (or even weeks) of the filling.
The closer your dentist must drill to the nerve for a procedure, the less insulation there is for your tooth nerve against bite and temperature. If your dentist had to drill closer to the tooth nerve, you may feel more sensitive initially. However, as long as the sensitivity is lessening each day, you should be fine.
If the sensitivity does not stop after a few weeks, contact your dentist.
Common Forms of Tooth Sensitivity Pain
You can experience tooth sensitivity for a number of reasons, including:
- Referred Pain. Referred pain is pain or sensitivity in teeth other than the tooth that received the filling. This is likely just an adjustment period for your teeth after experiencing the filling and should decrease and disappear within a few days to a week.
- Hot and Cold Sensitivity. New fillings can often be sensitive to hot or cold foods or air. This pain should only last a few seconds and go away once the hot or cold it removed. This is fairly normal and sensitivity should dissipate within a few days to a few weeks. If you are experiencing lingering pain, even after removing the hot or cold element, you may be experiencing nerve damage, so you’ll need to return to your dentist.
- Biting Teeth Together. If you are having pain when you bite down, it may be because you filling is interfering with your bite or that the filling has cracked. Usually your dentist will shape your filling carefully so that it matches your bite. In some cases, you may simply need to let your mouth get accustomed to the bite. If pain continues days after, consider returning to your dentist to have your filling reshaped or examined for damage.
- Throbbing Toothache Pain. In some cases, your dentist may have needed to go very deep into the pulp of your tooth for the filling if your decay was very severe. If you dentist had to go deep to get rid of decay and you are now experience toothache-like throbbing pain, this may indicate that your tooth tissue is not healthy. Deep cavities can sometimes result in the tooth nerve slowly dying over time – in which case you’ll need a root canal.
- Allergies. If you are allergic to the material used for fillings, your sensitivity or pain may be the result of allergic symptoms. For example, some individuals are allergic to silver. To prevent this from happening, make sure to discuss with your dentist various filling choices and potential allergies before getting your filling. These allergies are very rare, but can happen in some instances.
How to Prevent Tooth Sensitivity After Filling
Reduce your risk of tooth sensitivity after a filling by avoiding hot or cold foods.
You may also want to consider a tooth-sensitive toothpaste such as Sensodyne, which is uniquely designed to minimize tooth sensitive and pain following a filling.