Tooth Pain after Filling
Tooth pain after filling? Most people should expect to have a toothache when they have a decayed tooth, but not after they already have got treatment for the damaged tooth. However, in some cases it is possible to experience some discomfort for a few days after the tooth is treated. Rarely, a tooth pain after filling is a sign of another dental problem.Overview Causes Treatments
Is it normal to have pain after a tooth filling?
Some discomfort or a mild tooth ache should be considered as normal for some days or a few weeks after having a dental filling. The most common condition is to experience some extra sensitivity when the treated tooth is exposed to hot or cold temperatures, air flow, sweets, or pressure. It may also feel like a light throbbing pain.
Avoiding to expose the tooth to stimulants that may trigger the pain is usually enough, and rarely an over the counter pain reliever will be needed, until the tooth sensitivity subsides.
A tooth pain after filling will usually resolve without any special treatment within a few days or 1-2 weeks time.
However, if you have extreme sensitivity and pain, or it continues for many weeks after the treatment you should contact your dentist. In these cases the persistent toothache after filling is more possibly an indication of a problem either with the filling or with the tooth itself.
Cause of normal (short-term) tooth pain after filling
The most common cause of post-operative sensitivity after a dental filling is the irritation of the tooth tissues during the procedure. The removal of tooth decay and the preparation of the tooth surface for the placement of the filling requires the use of high speed drills or lasers, which can potentially cause some degree of mechanical or thermal irritation to the pulp tissue and the nerves of the tooth. Until this irritation has subsided in a few days the tooth may be sensitive to external stimuli.
Another factor of temporary tooth pain after filling is related to silver amalgam filling materials. Since the amalgam filling material is metallic, it can conduct hot and cold from the mouth environment to the pulp quite easily, enhancing the feeling of sensitivity. With tooth-colored composite fillings that provide better insulation of the tooth, sensitivity symptoms are rare.
If the only cause of the tooth pain is this temporary irritation, then the condition will improve gradually within a couple of days, but it can last for a few weeks.
How to relieve a tooth pain after filling?
Although the pain is usually mild, if the toothache becomes disturbing you may try the following to relieve it:
- Avoid any causes of sensitivity. Try to stay away of hot, cold, or sweet foods that could stimulate the sensitive tooth and cause tooth pain.
- Use a sensitivity toothpaste. Special toothpastes containing desensitizing agents can usually provide adequate relief until the symptoms subside.
- Eat a soft diet. The treated tooth has already some degree of irritation after the filling procedure. Hard or sticky foods can put the tooth under additional pressure promoting the irritation and the tooth pain. You can also try to avoid chewing directly on the filled tooth for the first days.
- Take a pain reliever. Pain killers are rarely needed, but you can use an over the counter pain reliever if you feel increased discomfort.
- Oral hygiene. Proper oral hygiene can help to ease the irritation of the periodontal tissues and keep the mouth healthy.
- Home remedies. Some other home remedies using warm saltwater rinses or clove oil may also be used for toothache pain relief after a filling.
Following the above recommendations you can minimize the effects of post-operative toothache after a tooth filling. However if the toothache does not subside within a few weeks from the filling procedure you will have to seek dental treatment from your dentist. Read more in 'Treatments for Toothache after a Dental Filling'.