What is a dental filling?
If your dentist has diagnosed cavities in your teeth, he or she will recommend a dental filling, depending on the severity of the cavity. When your teeth begin to decay, small holes begin to form. During a filling, your dentist will fill these holes with a substance such as composite or amalgam. While this procedure is one of the most common ones we do and is very simple in nature, it can result in some tooth sensitivity.There are several reasons why a filling may cause tooth sensitivity.
Change in Bite
Sometimes, a filling can cause the affected tooth to become taller than your other teeth. This in turn can make it painful to close your mouth as there is now extra pressure on the affected tooth. In fact, biting down can even cause the filling to crack, so be sure to contact your dentist right away if you notice any changes or difficulties biting down.
Before your dentist begins filling your cavity, they remove the decayed part of your tooth with a drill that releases heat. In some cases, this part of the procedure inflames the pulp, which is the connective tissue that forms the center of your teeth, resulting in pulpitis. Equally, if your dentist fails to remove all of the decay, it can cause an infection at the pulp of your tooth. When this occurs, you will notice swelling or a pus pocket at the tooth.
You may also feel pain in the teeth surrounding the affected one. This is called referred pain, a phenomenon which involves feeling pain in areas other than the source of the pain.
Sometimes pain can occur simply due to the different surfaces touching. For example, if you have a gold filling on your top tooth and a silver filling on your bottom, might feel mild discomfort when the two teeth touch.
How to Reduce Tooth Sensitivity
Fortunately, there are a number of at-home remedies available for tooth sensitivity after a filling. Here are some of the ones we recommend:
- Taking NSAIDs like Ibuprofen
- Temporarily avoiding hot or cold food and drinks
- Gently brushing and flossing
- Using a desensitizing toothpaste