Dental filling pain

Dental filling pain

Dental filling pain

Pain Around dental Fillings:

There are several explanations for pain around fillings, each resulting from a different cause.

Pain when you bite or touch your teeth together.

This type of pain occurs when you bite down. The pain is noticed soon after the anesthesia wears off and continues over time. In this case, the filling may be interfering with your bite. You will need to return to your dentist and have the filling reshaped. If the pain still continues, it may indicate a further problem that requires additional treatment such as root canal.




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Pain to hot or cold.

This pain is a very sharp pain that occurs only when your teeth touch something hot or cold; the pain goes away in a few seconds when the hot or cold is removed. If this pain lingers on for a long time even after the hot or cold is removed, it may indicate irreversible damage to the nerve and you should contact your dentist.

Toothache-type" constant throbbing pain

If the decay was very deep to the pulp of the tooth, this "toothache" response may indicate this tissue is no longer healthy. If this is the case, "root canal" treatment may be required.

Referred pain.

This is pain or sensitivity in other teeth besides the one that received the filling. With this particular pain, there is likely nothing wrong with your teeth. The filled tooth is simply passing along "pain signals" it is receiving to other teeth. This pain should decrease on its own over one to two weeks.

What does sensitivity after a filling feel like?

When a person has a sensitive tooth, they may notice that certain triggers cause a temporary, uncomfortable sensation in the filled tooth or surrounding area. It may feel like a shock of cold or sudden pain that comes on quickly and goes away.

Factors that can trigger tooth sensitivity after a filling include:

  • cold foods or drinks, such as ice cream, popsicles, or beverages with ice
  • hot drinks, such as coffee or tea
  • air hitting the tooth, such as when breathing through the mouth, which may be worse with cold air
  • sugary foods, such as candy
  • acidic foods and drinks, including fruit, juice, and coffee
  • biting down when eating

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What causes tooth sensitivity after a filling?

Several things can cause tooth sensitivity after a filling.


Before filling a cavity, your dentist removes the decayed part of your tooth with a drill that releases heat. In rare cases, this inflames the pulp, which is the connective tissue that forms the center of your teeth, causing pulpitis. If your dentist doesn’t remove all of the decaying tissue, it can also cause an infection in the pulp of the affected tooth. When this happens, you might notice your gums swelling or a pocket of pus near the tooth.

There are two types of pulpitis. The first is reversible pulpitis, where the tooth will be sensitive but the pulp will heal and get better. The second is irreversible pulpitis, where the pulp is unable to heal and your tooth will then need root canal treatment.

Change in bite

Sometimes a filling can cause the affected tooth to be taller than your other teeth. This can make it painful to close your mouth due to extra pressure on the affected tooth. In some cases, biting down can even crack the filling, so contact your dentist as soon as you notice a problem with your bite.

Multiple tooth surfaces

You might also feel pain or sensitivity from having two different surfaces in your mouth. For example, if one tooth has a gold crown, and the tooth above or below it has a silver filling, you might feel an odd sensation when they touch.

Referred pain

It’s also common to feel pain in the teeth surrounding the affected one. This is due to a phenomenon called referred pain, which involves feeling pain in an area other than the source of the pain.

Allergic reaction

Sensitivity after a dental filling could be an allergic reaction to the materials used in the filling. You might also notice a rash or itching nearby. Contact your dentist if you think you might be having an allergic reaction. They can redo the filling with a different material.

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How to treat a sensitive tooth

When a person experiences normal, post-filling sensitivity, a dentist may recommend that they use a desensitizing toothpaste.

These products contain an ingredient called potassium nitrate that helps stop the sensations on the surface of the tooth from reaching the nerve endings inside.

These products do not work immediately, but a person should notice relief within several days if they use the toothpaste twice a day.

A person may also try the following methods at home to help relieve tooth sensitivity:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Topical numbing ointment designed for the mouth.
  • A toothbrush labeled for sensitive teeth. These are softer than standard toothbrushes and will be less harsh on the tooth enamel.
  • Brush with gentle, circular strokes on the teeth and gums. Avoid scrubbing back and forth or aggressive pushing of the brush on the teeth.
  • Floss once a day, taking care to be gentle on the gums and teeth.
  • Take note of which foods or drinks cause sensitivity and avoid them if possible.
  • Avoid whitening toothpaste and products, which can make sensitivity worse.
  • Rinse the mouth out with water after consuming acidic foods or drinks, such as coffee and fruit. Acidic foods and beverages can wear away the tooth enamel.
  • Avoid brushing the teeth immediately after eating acidic foods, as it may remove more of the enamel.

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Why does my tooth hurt a month after a filling?

Some sensitivity after a tooth filling is normal and temporary. Sometimes, however, sensitivity after a filling is due to other causes that need treatment or repair. Short-term tooth sensitivity after a filling usually occurs because the filling procedure has aggravated or caused inflammation in the nerve inside the tooth. Usually, the tooth's outer layers the enamel and cementum protect the nerve from exposure. A tooth that has just had a filling placed will be more sensitive to hot foods and cold foods, air temperature, and the pressure of biting. This type of tooth pain after filling a cavity should resolve within a few weeks. If not, contact your dentist.


How long should your teeth hurt after a filling?

 people might experience discomfort or tooth sensitivity after filling. Most of the time, this sensitivity is normal and will resolve within a few days or week. Sensitivity from a tooth filling should go away within two to four weeks. If the sensitivity doesn't seem to be getting any better during that time, or it lasts for longer than four weeks, contact your dentist.


How do you know if your filling is infected?

If the seal between the tooth enamel and the filling breaks down, food particles and decay-causing bacteria can work their way under the filling.

A kind of infection is called an abscessed tooth, or a periapical abscess. These infections don't go away on their own, so it's important to see your dentist if you think you have one. If it's not treated, it can spread to your jaw or other areas of your head or neck.

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Signs and symptoms of a tooth infected include:

  • Severe, persistent, throbbing toothache that can radiate to the jawbone, neck or ear
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Sensitivity to the pressure of chewing or biting
  • Fever
  • Swelling in your face or cheek
  • Tender, swollen lymph nodes under your jaw or in your neck
  • Sudden rush of foul-smelling and foul-tasting, salty fluid in your mouth and pain relief, if the abscess ruptures
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing

Can a bad filling cause a root canal?

fillings, especially deep ones, can get close to the nerve endings and cause irritation and uncomfortable sensations. As the nerve heals, the sensitivity will go away. This may take a few days or weeks. If your tooth has decay to the enamel or dentin, a simple filling is enough to repair the cavity. However, if the cavity is left untreated, the decay will reach the deepest layer of the tooth, the nerve tissue. At this point, a root canal is necessary to repair the tooth.

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How long should it hurt to chew after a filling?

Metal dental fillings do not harden immediately and often dentists will recommend waiting at least 24 hours following the dental filling before eating any solid foods. In order to avoid biting your cheek, tongue, or lips, you will probably want to wait until the local anesthetic wears off before trying to eat. Sensitivity from a tooth filling should go away within two to four weeks.

Luckily, by following some common-sense chewing tips and avoiding foods that can cause trouble after fillings, you can considerably reduce discomfort:

  • Chew slowly and bite lightly:Biting exerts tremendous pressure on the teeth, and this can make them very sore after you get a filling. When chewing your food, take your time and try not to bite all the way through; this will prevent your teeth from making forceful contact. If possible, chew on the opposite side of the mouth from where your filling is.
  • Keep your mouth closed when chewing:For some people, even cold air can trigger pain in sensitive teeth. Consequently, besides being good manners, keeping your mouth closed when chewing will lessen the chance of cold air entering your mouth and causing you pain.
  • Skip sticky foods:Some fillings, particularly silver (amalgam) ones, take time to set after you leave the dentist's office. Eating sticky or gummy food can, in rare cases, dislodge a new filling, so it's best to avoid them in the short-term.
  • Avoid very hot or cold drinks: Moderate temperatures are less likely to trigger pain in sensitive teeth.
  • Pass on the sweets:Sugary foods and soft drinks trigger sensitivity in some and may promote bacterial growth around the edges of, or even under, a new filling.
  • Don't chew nuts, hard candy, or ice:In addition to causing undue pressure on your teeth while they are still recovering, biting hard foods can dislodge a fresh filling that hasn't yet properly set. This is especially important for silver (amalgam) fillings, as they take longer to set than composite (tooth-colored) fillings.

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10 common question about dental filling pain

1How long does a tooth hurt after a filling?
two to four weeks Sensitivity from a tooth filling should go away within two to four weeks. If the sensitivity doesn't seem to be getting any better during that time, or it lasts for longer than four weeks, contact your dentist.
2Is it normal to have pain after dental filling?
Tooth sensitivity: A tooth that has just had a filling placed will be more sensitive to hot foods and cold foods, air temperature, and the pressure of biting. This type of tooth pain after filling a cavity should resolve within a few weeks. If not, contact your dentist.
3How bad do cavity fillings hurt?
Taking Care of Cavity Fillings You may experience some sensitivity and pain after receiving tooth fillings, but this discomfort should subside. ... In addition, Oral-B Glide Floss for sensitive gums shouldn't irritate the area around tooth fillings.
4How can you tell if a filling is bad?
Signs Your Filling May Need to Be Replaced The filling is cracked. Wear and tear can eventually cause fillings to crack. ... Your tooth hurts. If you have a crack in your tooth, you may develop a cavity under the filling. ... You feel pain when you drink cold beverages. ... Your old filling has changed color. ... Your filling has fallen out. ... Your filling is old.
5How do you know if you need a root canal after a filling?
Signs You Need a Root Canal Serious teeth pain when eating or when you put pressure on the area. Teeth pain and sensitivity to hot or cold that lingers after the hot or cold stimuli have been removed. A small, pimple-like bump on the gums near the area of teeth pain. Darkening of the tooth.
6What does a high filling feel like?
A dental filling that is too high can result in pain when you bite down, as the ligaments around the tooth can become inflamed and sore. ... You may also start to clench or grind your teeth in response to the pain and discomfort that you feel when biting. • Headaches
7Why does dental cleaning hurt so much?
Dental cleanings should not be painful. If you are experiencing pain during your cleaning, tell your dental hygienist or dentist. Your dentist will determine if your discomfort is due to an issue with one or more of your teeth. ... Most dental sensitivity is the result of gum disease, tooth decay, or both.
8Can I brush my teeth after a filling?
You can resume brushing twice a day and flossing daily immediately. You may be sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages for up to 3 weeks after a filling has been placed. A tooth is more likely to be sensitive if it had a deeper cavity. If you have pain with biting after a few days, call our office.
9What can you do for a really bad toothache?
Home Remedies for Toothache Saltwater Rinse. Until you can get to the dentist, one of the best things you can do is swish warm, salty water around in your mouth. ... OTC Pain Relievers. Dentists suggest acetaminophen for children. ... Cold Compress. If your face is swollen, put an ice pack on your cheek.
10Do fillings hurt without an injection?
But if you hurt the patient during the injection process, you are no longer considered a painless dentist. ... Remember, a filling doesn't hurt — even a root canal doesn't hurt — but an intraoral injection does!


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