How to Manage Teeth Sensitivity after Fillings

Nov 30

How to Manage Teeth Sensitivity after Fillings

When an individual experiences dental caries or tooth cavity in layman’s term, the most recommended dental treatment is filling. This procedure is effective and safe. However, there are instances when teeth sensitivity happens afterward.

Cases when you might feel teeth sensitivity after fillings vary; but mostly it’s normal and temporary. But that doesn’t mean it can be ignored. Calling a dentist is strongly advised if the discomfort leads to severe pain or is accompanied with other manifestations such as redness, swelling or fever.

What to Expect after a Filling

Generally, a filling is defined as a dental procedure that involves cleaning and getting rid of any decay present on the tooth, and filling the hole caused by the decay with another material. This is done by first, administering a compound around the tooth, followed by the cleaning with a drill. Finally, it will be filled with a new material such as a composite, amalgam, porcelain or gold.

Post-filling, expect mild discomfort for several hours. You may feel numbness or itchiness or you may have a hard time talking, eating or even moving your face. This is totally normal. While this discomfort will subside once the agent that causes numbness subsides, there are those who feel different while still adjusting to the filling. Teeth sensitivity after fillings is one of those.

What Does Teeth Sensitivity Feel Like

Individuals who undergo teeth sensitivity post-filling experience different sensations on the filled tooth or on the filled tooth’s surroundings. This sensation can be an on-and-off sharp pain or coldness.

Various factors can trigger tooth sensitivity. Such include:

  • Cold food and drinks like soda, popsicles and ice cream
  • Hot drinks like tea and coffee
  • Mouth breathing or cold air that hits the tooth
  • Candy and other sugary foods
  • Foods and drinks that are acidic

Causes of Teeth Sensitivity on Fillings

While there are teeth sensitivity cases which are temporary and just subside after a few days, some cases need the help of a dentist to resolve the problem. Here are some examples which require dental treatment.

Irritated Nerve

This is possible if the filling triggered nerve inflammation inside the filled tooth. While the enamel functions to protect the nerve, deep fillings can get close to the nerve endings and increase the possibility of irritation. An irritated nerve would usually heal after a few days or weeks and the sensitivity will also subside.

Incorrect Bite Alignment

teeth sensitivity after fillings

The dentist who performs the procedure must make sure that the filling’s height is the same with the other teeth. A filling that’s too tall can trigger extra pressure when a person bites. This will lead not only to teeth sensitivity but pain as well.

Although this is a common occurrence and the bite corrects itself after a few weeks, there are instances when the sensitivity becomes more severe and the person is having a more difficult time to eat. This is when seeking the dentist again is recommended so that the dentist can level the height of the filled teeth to eliminate the discomfort.

Dentists would usually recommend patients to use desensitizing toothpaste if teeth sensitivity is experienced. Most importantly, patients should strictly follow the post-filling instructions given by the dentist.

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