Tooth sensitivity after a filling is expected because, during the procedure, a filling can get close enough to nerve endings to inflict some damage.
What is not normal, however, is the sensitivity lasting for a prolonged period. If your nerve pain is taking too long to heal, then something has to be done.
This article examines the close relationship between nerve pain and tooth filling and also provides solutions to the problems associated.
Tooth Sensitivity After A Filling
Tooth sensitivity is a small or sometimes large restoration made of some durable materials that the dentist uses to fill in and patch over holes in the tooth.
These holes are also referred to as cavities. At first, the entire area of decay has to be cleaned out before the dental filling can be placed.
The process includes removing the closest layer of enamel or dentin next to the cavity. Every tooth has its own set of nerves, just like other parts of the body.
Irritation or trauma to those nerves can cause sensitivity or pain.
Although with a dental filling, this discomfort is often temporary and is accompanied by a series of symptoms like pains and soreness.
Asides from the sensitivity of nerve endings, aches could also occur because of soreness from the anesthetics injected into the filling, which is close to the nerve endings.
After getting a filling, the nerves inside it remain in shock for some period, causing soreness, sensitivity, and pains.
Tooth sensitivity causes distinct pain and often affects daily activities such as eating, drinking, and brushing the teeth.
It occurs when the porous tissue in the teeth becomes exposed. The dentin has microscopic tubules, which are pathways to the nerve.
These nerves are easily triggered by certain stimuli causing tooth sensitivity.
Sometimes tooth sensitivity can signify other conditions that do not involve dental filling; age and specific activities could also cause tooth sensitivity.
However, this article majorly focuses on the connection between dental fillings and tooth sensitivity.
Is It Normal To Have Nerve Pain After Filling?
Nerve pains and sensitivity after a filling are entirely typical. Although it is not everyone that experiences it after a filling, quite several people do.
This feeling of sensitivity, however, does not mean that the packing was not done well.
sometimes, when the decay is close to the nerve, root canals may be necessary to restore the tooth.
After the filling process, your teeth will experience temperature changes like extreme cold or hotness, a condition known as pulpitis.
The trauma that the teeth undergo during draining causes them to get more agitated, leading to sensitivity that can remain for an extended period.
Depending on the conditions attached to your nerve pains, the sensitivity might stop in a few days. Other times, however, your tooth might have to be readjusted to avoid distress.
Nerve pain after a filling is normal; what is not normal is more intense pain, sharp and pulsating.
This shows that there are oral problems more severe than the nerve pains from the fillings.
Why Do I Have Nerve Pain After A Filling?
Several things could make you experience nerve pain shortly after or long after getting a filling.
Sometimes it could be because of some abnormalities during the procedure or misalignment. Let us discuss some of these factors below:
This is a condition that involves the irritation of nerve endings in the teeth.
Inflammation or irritation of nerves during deep filling and boring of teeth is usually not uncommon.
These nerves, after getting inflamed, can cause a lot of pain to the nerves.
Although the momentum and enamels protect the nerves from specific exposures, drilling the tooth can expose the nerves to these factors they are being protected from.
Improper Bite Alignment
Before going ahead with the procedure, one of the most important steps is to ensure that the filling aligns with the patient’s bite alignment.
The filling has to fit the patient’s bite alignment correctly.
A filling too tall too short might lead to discomfort when chewing, biting, or making use of one’s teeth.
Although this situation is not uncommon, the bite should rectify itself in days.
Pulpitis occurs when the innermost layer of the tooth, the dental pulp, becomes inflamed.
This part of the tooth is made of blood vessels, connective tissues, and nerves, which also get irritated when they are affected during a filling.
While it is uncommon for pulpitis to occur after a filling, there have been instances of its occurrence. Majority in people who:
- Have suffered accidents or trauma causing cracked ribs
- Have a deep cavity that has negatively affected the inner pulp
- Have a tooth that has undergone different fillings in the past.
Allergies are reactions of the body to foreign, harmful substances. Sometimes, our bodies repel some substances, causing a series of reactions as responses.
If your body system is allergic to the meaning or material used during the filing, you might develop pains and aches because of your body’s allergic reactions.
Asides from the typical sensitivity that you might experience, you might also notice some skin reactions like rashes, itching, and related skin infections.
This refers to pains perceived on some parts of the feet, which could get linked to other parts of the mouth.
Pain in one tooth can make you feel pains in surrounding areas other than that source.
Referred pain results from the network of interconnected nerves supplying other tissues.
Nerve endings are interconnected, and pain on some or one tooth can lead to pain in other parts, too.
How Long Should My Tooth Hurt After A Filling?
Typically, tooth sensitivity from a filling occurs within two to four weeks, depending on the severity of the condition.
After getting a filling, your nerve pain should reduce in the next four weeks.
Nerve pains that persist after this given period are considered harmful and you should visit your dentist.
Factors that could make your tooth hurt even after weeks include bite misalignment, inflamed nerves, pulpitis, referred pain, and some factors listed above.
Paying close attention to your symptoms would be helpful for your dentist to understand what is going on in your system.
Treatment Of Nerve Pain After Filling
Now how do you manage or treat your nerve pain after filling?
Although time is the best treatment for your nerve pains after filing, sensitivity symptoms go away after a few days.
There are still hacks that can relieve your aches. You can reduce sensitivity in the following ways:
- Avoid chewing foods on the right side of your mouth until the numbness completely goes away. This would help you avoid pains and soreness. You can temporarily avoid eating foods that are too hot or too cold. Acidic foods and drinks should be avoided entirely, and fruits should be taken more.
- When brushing your teeth, ensure that you floss gently without being aggressive. After a filling, these nerves are tender and can be easily irritated. So brush gently and floss instead. It is also a good idea to skip whitening your teeth for a while to reduce too many activities in the area.
- Some anti-inflammatory drugs also help in reducing such pains. You can use such until your condition improves. Ibuprofen is a typical example of such a drug. If you choose to use drugs, do not forget to use them according to prescription. Taking medications without a prescription might further worsen the situation rather than solve the problem.
Here are a few red flags that you should note.
These factors show that your sensitivity is not only a typical one but a sign that something might be wrong somewhere. These red flags are:
- Spontaneous pain or tenderness, especially when laying down in bed.
- Dull aches when eating or chewing something hot
- Off, and on twinges that pop off for no reason.
- Side gums next to your tooth.
- Lingering soreness after meals.
You do not need to panic if you notice any of the symptoms listed above; this is only to help you make better decisions about visiting your dentist.
Symptoms that persist, extending beyond 10-22 weeks, would require that you call your dentist.
Irregular, painful experiences would warrant that you pay a visit to your dentist, as there might be some problems with the displacement of the tooth filling that need to be revisited.
It’s possible your dentist didn’t properly carry out the filling procedure, causing misalignment and some imbalance.
Amongst the long list of interventions, paying a visit to your dentist would also help solve these problems.
Healthline: How to Handle Sensitive Teeth After a Filling
hovedentalclinic: Why do I have tooth sensitivity after my filling?