If you need to visit the dentist for a filling, you likely have a cavity that has been causing you some discomfort. A filling can fix a cavity, but some patients may experience tooth sensitivity after fillings. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity after fillings, there are a few steps you can take to reduce it.
How Do Fillings Work?
Fillings work by replacing a cavity in the tooth that may be causing pain or sensitivity. The dentist removes the decaying portions of the tooth, then fills the hole with a composite material, usually a resin-based oligomer matrix, or amalgam.
For some, however, the procedure can cause tooth pain and sensitivity after fillings.
How Should Your Mouth Feel After A Filling?
Due to the discomfort associated with dental work, your dentist numbs the gum around the tooth before a dental filling using Novocain so you likely won’t notice any tooth sensitivity after fillings until later.
Once that numbness begins to wear off, you will likely notice a difference in the texture of the tooth as a result of your new filling because you no longer have a cavity.
Some other sensations to look out for include:
- A dull throb or sharp sensation around the new dental fillings when exposed to cold air, hot and cool liquids, and foods
- Gum tenderness
- Discomfort when brushing, eating, or flossing
- Sensitivity in nearby teeth
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity After a Filling?
While dental fillings might be an everyday procedure for most dental practices, it can have a major impact on your oral health. Here are some common reasons why your tooth and gums might be a bit tender.
- Bite Change
A filling can change the height of a tooth, which can cause your normal bite to feel uneven. This issue can put pressure on your newly restored tooth, but it can start to cause unexpected pressure on nearby teeth. Your dentist can adjust your bite by shaving down the filling if you are experiencing discomfort from a change in your bite.
- Allergic Reaction
In incredibly rare cases, the pain you’re feeling after dental fillings might be due to an allergic reaction to the filling. Some telltale signs of an allergic reaction to the filling are itching and a rash near the area. The fix is as simple as removing the original filling and replacing it with an alternative material.
In the process of filling a cavity, your dentist needs to scrape away the decaying parts of the tooth. That process can irritate the fleshy, interior of the tooth called the pulp. When that tissue gets inflamed, your gums swell, and the tooth will be sensitive. In most cases, pulpitis is relatively minor and reversible just by giving it some time to heal.
- General Soreness
While it might seem simple on the surface, sometimes the best answer is the simplest one. When you get dental fillings, your mouth is sore from injections, pieces of your tooth get replaced, and your mouth has to grow accustomed to a new whole new piece of replacement tooth where a cavity used to be. Any discomfort you’re feeling will likely be gone by the next day.
What You Can Do to Manage Tooth Sensitivity After Fillings
Whether you need to return to work, go to the gym, or get on with your day as planned after your dental appointment, there are plenty of options available to help you deal with your tooth sensitivity.
Here are some tips to help manage your sensitivity effectively:
- Chew with the other side of your mouth to reduce the unnecessary impact on the new filling
- Avoid extremely hot and cold drinks and food, like tea or ice cream
- Brush or floss the area of your dental fillings more lightly than usual
- Avoid overly acidic food and beverages choices like citrus fruits, juices, and wine
- Using a specially formulated toothpaste for sensitive teeth
- Using anti-inflammatory medication
With 27 years of experience, Sans Souci Dental knows how to make our patients feel cared for, providing a positive experience with every visit. If you’re experiencing sensitivity after dental fillings, we can help you reduce any irritation or discomfort.
Call Sans Souci on (02) 8073 9218 to speak with our staff on how to deal with post-filling sensitivity.