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Tooth Pain After Filling: When to Call Your Dentist

Cavities can be treated with a dental filling procedure, which involves cleaning away tooth decay and sealing the holes or fractures with resin. While fillings are safe, they can leave many people with short-term tooth pain afterwards.

If you are experiencing some discomfort after a filling, read the rest of this article below to help you find out if your symptoms are normal post treatment.

Is tooth pain after filling normal?

Tooth pain after filling is not unusual, and it is a temporary discomfort that should go away on its own after a few days. It is also normal for certain actions, such as clenching the teeth, brushing, and flossing, to trigger a toothache. Several other factors can also set off post-filling sensitivity, which includes:

  • breathing in cold air
  • consuming hot or cold drinks and foods
  • eating sugary food
  • drinking acidic liquids, like juice and coffee

woman with tooth pain using a smartphone

When to contact your dentist

As mild tooth pain is normal in the days following a dental filling, an appointment with your dentist may not be necessary. However, contact them if:

  • the pain is unbearable;
  • the pain makes it difficult for you to eat or move your mouth; or
  • you are experiencing other symptoms, such as fever, redness, or rashes.

Any of these could indicate an underlying illness that may need treatment.

Causes of severe post-filling tooth pain

Some of the possible reasons that your dentist may find that cause abnormal toothache after a dental filling include:

  • Inflamed or Irritated Nerve. The filling procedure is invasive and requires injecting a numbing agent around the tooth, cleaning out the decayed area (typically with a dental drill), and filling the cavity. As such, it can cause inflammation of the nerve inside the tooth. This commonly occurs in deep fillings that reach close to the nerve endings. Any pain or discomfort should subside within a few days or weeks as the irritated nerve heals.

  • Change or Misalignment in Bite. It is normal to experience minor sensitivity when biting down after the procedure, and the bite will usually correct itself in a few weeks. However, a filling that sticks out from the tooth may cause severe pain; it can result in extra pressure when biting or closing the mouth.

  • Pulpitis. Inflammation of the pulp— the connective tissue forming the centre of the teeth— is called pulpitis. It results from advanced cavities, multiple invasive dental restorations, or trauma. There are two types of pulpitis: reversible, where the inflammation of the pulp is mild enough to be treated with a simple filling or go away on its own; and irreversible, where the nerve is significantly damaged and unable to heal itself. The latter would require extraction or a root canal treatment.

  • Allergic Reaction. It is also possible that tooth pain may be caused by an allergic reaction to the substance used in filling caries. You may experience itching or rashes alongside tooth sensitivity.

Your dental health is our priority

Our team of gentle dentists at Beacon Cove Dental is always available to discuss any concerns you may have with your oral health or your treatment. Your well-being and satisfaction will always be prioritised here.

If you have inquiries but are not ready to book a consultation just yet, feel free to contact us with your questions.