Ask Your Dentist: “Is My Tooth Supposed to Hurt After a Filling?”

September 25, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — longmontteam @ 5:34 pm
Woman Rubbing Jaw

If you need a filling from your dentist to save your tooth from decay, chances are you’ll deal with some discomfort or tooth sensitivity for a few days after the procedure. While you might have concerns at first, there’s no need to worry; in most cases, this pain is normal and will go away on its own. In the meantime, it’s important to understand what to expect in the days after getting a filling and how you can take care of a sensitive tooth – as well as how to tell the difference between normal pain and a symptom of a genuine issue.

What Happens After a Filling?

The area around your tooth will be numbed during the procedure. That numbness may remain for a few hours afterwards, causing your face to feel tingly, itchy or puffy; you might have trouble swallowing and talking. Until the sensation wears off, it’s usually recommended not to eat so that you don’t accidentally bite your tongue.

Once the numbness goes away, you might notice sensitivity around the treated tooth. This means that consuming certain foods and drinks might cause a sudden pain; this includes especially hot or cold foods and beverages, sugar, and anything acidic. Air hitting the tooth when you breathe through your mouth can also be uncomfortable.

Why is the Tooth Sensitive?

Most of the time, the sensitivity is simply a side effect of the tooth’s nerve becoming inflamed after the treatment. This is because the fillings are usually placed close to the nerve endings, which can be uncomfortable at first. The pain should go away after a few days or weeks after the nerve heals; at that point, your tooth should feel normal again.

However, if the sensitivity is severe and/or is accompanied by difficulty putting the teeth together, it could be due to a bite problem caused by a filling that’s too tall. Also, in certain cases the inflammation might have spread to the tooth’s pulp; this is called pulpitis, and severe cases of it might cause fever, redness and swelling. Call your dentist right away if you’re noticing troublesome symptoms beyond what would normally be expected.

How Do You Treat a Sensitive Tooth?

For normal sensitivity after a filling, your dentist might recommend a special desensitizing toothpaste that will help provide relief after several days of use. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can also help. You can also help your pearly whites by:

  • Brushing with gentle, circular strokes.
  • Flossing gently once a day.
  • Rinsing your mouth with water after drinking or eating anything acidic.

If your tooth sensitivity doesn’t improve over time, schedule a checkup with your dentist in Longmont as soon as possible. They’ll be able to confirm whether the sensitivity is related to the filling or a more serious issue. As soon as you can move past the discomfort, you’ll finally be able to fully enjoy your newly repaired smile!

About the Practice

At Longmont Complete Dentistry, Dr. Dan J. Maurer and James A. Maurer are a father-and-son team that works to help families fully understand their treatment options and walk away satisfied with their care. If you have a decayed tooth or have concerns about getting a filling, you can contact them via their website or by calling (303) 772-7000.

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