Filling a tooth is a quick and effective way to treat cavities, yet there can be minor side effects like any procedure. Sensitivity is one of the common side effects of dental fillings, but if you’ve never had a filling before, this sensation could cause concern. If you have tooth sensitivity after filling, there are ways to minimise discomfort.
Why are Dental Fillings Used?
Dental fillings are used to treat cavities, repair broken or cracked teeth, or restore damaged teeth caused by bruxism (teeth grinding). Teeth get damaged over time and to maintain good oral health, it’s crucial to address the causes and the resulting damage.
Tooth decay occurs when tooth enamel softens, creating small holes in the tooth called cavities. In the very early stages of tooth decay, it’s possible for the enamel to repair itself if given the right conditions, such as using fluoride, minerals, and good oral hygiene practices. As time passes—and the cavity worsens—dental treatment is required to prevent further dental issues.
Why do cavities form in the first place? Some teeth can be more susceptible to developing cavities—genetics, tooth arrangement, or receding gums can all play a part in this susceptibility. Sometimes, certain factors make dental health harder to maintain, but others are ones we can control. Simply maintaining good oral hygiene and watching what you eat and drink can help reduce your chances of developing cavities.
If cavities are left untreated, it can affect the surrounding teeth, encourage bacterial growth, and even create in-tooth infections (abscesses). The longer you leave a cavity, the more risk there is that you’ll need more extensive treatment to remedy it, including root canals and dental implants.
Fillings can restore the integrity and health of your tooth, reducing the need for more serious interventions in the long-term. With proper oral care, your dental fillings can last 20 years or more.
Understanding the Process
Getting dental fillings is a relatively simple procedure. The dentist numbs the area and drills out the cavity to remove the tooth’s entire decayed portion. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned to eliminate all bacteria and debris and then filled. The filling is built-up in stages and layered in such a way to ensure efficient hardening of the entire filling.
Having a filling doesn’t need to impact your smile. Dentistry on Solent only uses mercury-free white composite fillings. This creates the most uniform, discrete fillings that blend with your natural tooth colour. The tooth-coloured composite filling material can also be used to repair chips, fill in small gaps and disguise other cosmetic flaws.
Side Effects of Fillings
Thankfully, fillings don’t cause many side effects.
The white composite dental fillings used today—and which Dental on Solent use—are an excellent alternative to metal fillings which can cause temperature sensitivity and other complications.
Are you experiencing tooth sensitivity after a filling? Tooth sensitivity can be a common side effect of dental fillings.
Following a dental procedure, an individual may experience sensitivity with hot or cold substances, pressure, sweet food or even air passing around the tooth. Normally, this sensitivity resolves in a few days or weeks without intervention or further treatment.
What to Do for Tooth Sensitivity After a Filling?
Since most tooth sensitivity resolves on its own, often you don’t need to do anything to remedy the situation. If you can identify the cause of sensitivity, do what you can to eliminate it. For example, if sweet food is triggering the sensitivity, then reduce or avoid sweet foods for the time being.
If the tooth had a deep cavity, there’s a higher chance you’ll experience tooth sensitivity. This occurs because of the proximity to nerve endings; deep fillings get closer to these nerve endings than shallow ones and can cause unusual, somewhat uncomfortable sensations. This is another reason early cavity detection and treatment is essential. But even with the tooth sensitivity that results from deep fillings, this should still resolve within days or weeks as the nerve heals and returns to normal.
Temporary sensitivity doesn’t need extensive treatment, but if it extends beyond a reasonable amount of time or the sensitivity becomes painful, you must take further steps. Contact your dentist if you’re concerned with your tooth. They can offer practical suggestions and look at the tooth, ensuring there are no underlying issues.
It’s possible that the filling isn’t shaped correctly. Consistently biting on a high filling—even when the height difference is minute—can make your teeth overly sensitive. This is something that doesn’t self-correct and must be altered by a dentist. By merely adjusting the filling height, your dentist can resolve the issue, and the discomfort should subside.
Another reason for the sensitivity is pulpitis. Heat and vibration from the drill can cause swelling of the tooth’s pulpal tissue, resulting in pulpitis. Most often, this condition will resolve with continued healing and shouldn’t need intervention.
In the meantime, if you’re struggling with sensitivity, and you’re waiting to see a dentist, it’s possible to address mild sensitivity issues at home using specialist toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
If you’re concerned about your teeth, if you know you need dental fillings or have worries about pre-existing dental work, consult one of our friendly, experienced dentists at Dentistry on Solent.
Are you experiencing post-filling tooth sensitivity? We will give you specific, personalised guidance so you can have relief and peace of mind. Arrange an appointment by calling (02) 9158 6137 today.