Dental fillings are one of the most common restorative dental procedures performed routinely by general dentistry practices. Although you might experience mild tooth sensitivity after a filling, it’s no reason not to have treatment. Dental fillings are essential to maintaining the health of your teeth. 

Learning what causes tooth sensitivity after a filling can help you manage the sensation effectively until it subsides. 


Benefits of Dental Fillings 

Dental fillings are critical to maintaining good oral health. They are designed to prevent the progression of tooth decay by restoring a damaged tooth so it can function normally. Fillings also protect the vulnerable part of your decayed tooth from further exposure to harmful bacteria. Besides halting decay, fillings can also be used to repair chipped teeth. The benefits of dental fillings include: 


  • Longevity 

Modern fillings are extremely resistant to corrosion and can last up to ten years. 


  • Aesthetically pleasing 

Tooth-coloured composite fillings blend in with the look of natural teeth and don’t detract from your smile. 


  • Strengthen a damaged tooth 

When your tooth structure is weakened by decay, dental fillings restore its integrity and keep the tooth functioning normally. 


  • Prevent infection 

Left unchecked, tooth decay can cause serious complications, including damage to the tooth root or an abscess on your gums. Fillings halt the decay process, preventing further damage. 


What Causes Tooth Sensitivity After Filling?

Many things can cause tooth sensitivity after a filling, and most of them subside quickly. 


  • Pulpitis

Pulpitis is one of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity after a filling procedure. When your dentist fills a cavity, they use a drill to remove the tooth decay first. Sometimes this inflames the soft tissue at the centre of your teeth, known as the pulp.

causes tooth sensitivity after filling croydon

There are two types of pulpitis: reversible and irreversible. With reversible pulpitis, the pulp is healthy and will heal on its own.

Unfortunately, irreversible pulpitis means the pulp is permanently damaged, and the nerves inside have died.

Only a root canal can save a tooth with irreversible pulpitis.

  • Nerve irritation

Another cause of sensitivity is nerve irritation. During the tooth’s preparation and cleaning, the dental handpiece’s vibration and friction can irritate the nerve causing inflammation. This is most common in teeth that require deep dental fillings. As the nerve heals, the discomfort should diminish. 


  • Incorrect bite alignment

Following a filling, your dentist grinds and shapes the tooth to achieve a good bite. The dentist may also ask you to bite down on articulating paper to assess the bite alignment. However, if the tooth is too tall after your filling, the extra bite pressure can cause discomfort and sensitivity. It is normal to feel a little extra pressure for the first 2-3 days, but if you experience discomfort beyond a week, contact your dentist to reshape your filling. 


Managing Tooth Sensitivity 

Tooth sensitivity is common after a dental filling and should only be a short-term effect of the procedure. In the meantime, there are a few ways you can manage the sensation to make it less uncomfortable. 

Avoiding hot and cold foods is the easiest way to avoid triggering the sensation. The brief burst of intense temperature can stimulate nerve cells and create an uncomfortable sharp stinging feeling. Highly acidic foods like citrus fruits may also make your teeth sensitive, as the acid erodes the tooth enamel and penetrates through to the dentin and nerves. 

A desensitising toothpaste can help reduce your tooth sensitivity as well. The compounds in the toothpaste are designed to protect nerve endings from possible irritation by remineralising your tooth enamel and sealing the microscopic channels leading to your nerves. Your sensitivity should improve after a few uses. 

Avoid aggressively brushing your teeth; use gentle circular motions with a soft-bristled toothbrush instead. Over-brushing your teeth can erode the enamel and increase your tooth sensitivity. 

If you experience extreme discomfort due to tooth sensitivity, take an over-the-counter medication, and contact your dentist for a follow-up appointment. Prolonged tooth sensitivity after a filling can indicate an infection or damage to the tooth structure that needs to be addressed immediately. 


Repair Your Teeth with Dental Fillings at Dental Spot

At Dental Spot, we offer mercury-free dental fillings made of white composite resin. The colour is more aesthetically pleasing than metal fillings, and composite is durable. It also bonds to the teeth, protecting your enamel and hiding discolouration. 


For more information on dental fillings or managing tooth sensitivity, contact us today at (02) 9158 6115 or fill out our online form.

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