Why do I have a sensitive tooth after filling?

Why do I have a sensitive tooth after filling
06 Jun 2017

Just about everyone understands the importance of getting a filling when you have a cavity, but this doesn’t mean that we enjoy it! This is especially true of individuals who experience a sensitive tooth after filling a cavity. After all, it’s not much fun to experience pain when eating cold or hot foods, or simply from normal chewing.

Thankfully, while this increased sensitivity isn’t pleasant, it also isn’t typically something you need to worry about. In most cases, the pain will go away on its own, allowing you to return to your normal routine. And of course, it’s much better than letting a cavity get worse and worse, which can cause severe pain and other dental problems.

But why do you experience a sensitive tooth after filling a cavity in the first place? There are a few reasons why you might be experiencing this pain.

Normal Sensitivity

The vast majority of people who experience tooth sensitivity after getting a cavity filled will have the problem clear up on its own. The effect of drilling into your tooth and placing a filling will naturally lead to some sensitivity after the anesthetics wear off, but this typically clears up in a few hours or so. It may take longer for the sensitivity to wear off for individuals who have naturally sensitive teeth.  Using a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth can also alleviate your symptoms.

Remember, this sensitivity is normal and should go away on its own. If your teeth still hurt a week after your procedure, however, it’s a good idea to contact your dentist to find out if something else is wrong.

Filling Problems

Occasionally, lingering tooth sensitivity after getting a filling could be the result of the filling itself. This occurs when your filling is not fitting properly (such as if it is too big). This is why dentists will typically ask you how your bite feels and perform a visual inspection of the area after completing a filling.

Pay attention to your bite after your dentist completes your filling. If the filling is too big or high, it could cause an abnormal bite, which ultimately leads to lingering sensitivity for your tooth. This problem can be fixed quite quickly by your dentist so that you have a comfortable bite.

If your filling were to crack (which can sometimes happen if you bite extremely hard objects), this could also contribute to pain in your mouth. Your dentist is well equipped to diagnose the problem and provide any repairs that might be needed.