Toothache after fillings? I What to do to relieve the pain? | Kirkland Premier Dentistry
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Toothache after fillings? I What to do to relieve the pain?

January 3, 2023

The nature of this minor procedure does cause minimal sensitivity and pain which is self-resolving. Thus, it should be considered normal to have some minor discomfort & Toothache after fillings. The discomfort or pain should subside within a week or two.


What are fillings, how a filling is placed & Why Toothache after fillings?

Fillings are a common and a minor dental procedure which is used to remove the decaying part of the tooth and then restore it by using a durable filling material. This protects the tooth from infection and further damage. You actually get long term relief from toothache after fillings as the tooth is now protected and the damaged part is removed.

The process involves use of a local anesthetic to numb the area. The dentist will then remove the damaged or decaying part of the tooth using a mini drill. This is done carefully and there is no discomfort. After this, the dentist will place the filling which can be porcelain, gold/amalgam, composite, etc. The mouth will be numb from anesthesia for a few hours during which you are advised not to eat. For the next 24 hours you need to eat only soft foods to let the filling set.


Different issues which can arise after dental fillings

Dental filling is one of the most common dental procedures which is uneventful for most people. Some pain and sensitivity is normal after a filling. This resolves without causing much discomfort.

Rarely, some problems with dental fillings can be there. Some of those problems are:

● Tooth sensitivity- this is the commonest problem which resolves on its own.
● Pain around the filling- there are many causes of tooth pain after filling
● Allergic reactions after amalgam fillings- this is the rarest problem encountered after filling with fewer than 100 cases ever reported. Patients usually know if they are allergic to a specific metal. Allergy can be confirmed and a different material can be used.
● Deterioration of the filling- dental fillings have a lifespan and will deteriorate after a few years due to wear and tear. A timely visit to the dentist can help in restoring the filling or you may need a new one.


Sensitivity and toothache after filling? Why does it happen?

The procedure is minor but it does cause some irritation which only causes minimal discomfort that doesn’t last long.
Tooth sensitivity- a filling procedure requires removal of the decayed tissue which can irritate the surrounding structure and the nerves. This leads to sensitivity which can be felt with pressure, exposure to air, sweet foods, or to hot and cold temperatures.

This issue usually revolves in a few days to weeks. Avoiding the triggers of toothache after fillings will prevent the symptom. You will also be advised to use a desensitizing toothpaste. Contact your Kirkland dental expert if the sensitivity lasts longer than a few weeks. You might need root canal therapy.


Pain around the site of filling

● Pain on biting or touch- it can be due to incorrect bite alignment which can cause discomfort. The dentist will file it down or reshape it and the discomfort will go away
● Constant throbbing pain- if the decay has reached the pulp, it causes inflammation. Pulpitis will cause a throbbing toothache. In this case, you will need a root canal treatment
● Referred pain- this is something you don’t have to worry about. A filled tooth relays pain signals to other teeth which also happens in other injuries. This pain goes away in a week or two.
● Nerve pain after cavity filling- a deep filling irritates the nerves which are otherwise protected by the enamel and cementum. Irritated nerves cause sharp pains which usually subside over time. The pain will be often triggered when the teeth touch something hot or cold. If the pain continues, you may need further treatment.

Whenever you have any lingering pain, severe discomfort, swelling, a problem with your bite or throbbing pain, you must reach out to the experts at Kirkland Premier Dentistry.


How long does it take for deep filling to settle down?

Whether you need a low or a deep filling depends on factors such as size of the hole, decay, material used, etc. Deep filling is usually done to fill a larger cavity when a hole is deep and closer to the pulp.
The length of time it will take for deep filling to set will depend mainly on the material used. You are generally advised to give 24 hours to a filling to reach a desired strength and hardness.

Amalgam fillings take around 24 hours to set. Composite fillings harden immediately after UV light application. You still need to give at least two hours for them to set. Porcelain fillings also harden within 24 hours after they are fitted.
You have to avoid chewing on the side of the filling.


Do deep fillings last long?

It depends on you! Yes, the length of time your filling will last will depend on how well you take care of your fillings and your oral hygiene. The material of the fillings also has a lifetime. Gold and composite fillings are known to last long. These can last for 15 years. Amalgam fillings will last around five years as the material is more delicate.


Why does my filling hurt after months?

The most common cause of sensitivity or pain persisting for a long time is usually the nerve. Nerve pain after tooth filling is due to inflammation. Nerves in the tooth are protected by enamel and cementum. But with deep fillings, the nerve endings can get exposed which irritates the nerves causing inflammation and pain. In most cases, this heals with time.


How to relieve tooth pain after filling?

You should always take preventive measures first. Let the numbness go away and give time for your filling to set. Follow the instructions given by your dentist and avoid chewing on the same side. You should avoid eating hard or sticky foods as these can damage the filling. If you have been advised antibiotics and/or desensitizing toothpaste, use them as advised.


Home remedies for toothache after filling

● Take over the counter painkillers
● Use topical numbing agents after consulting your dentist
● Brush using the proper technique and with a soft bristled brush
● Avoid using teeth whitening products as they increase sensitivity
● Make sure to rinse your mouth every time you eat or drink something
● Do not eat foods which are too hot or too cold
● Avoid foods which are acidic

In the period immediately after filling or even after that, you should avoid hard and sticky foods. These can damage the fillings, shorten their lifespan, and also cause toothache after filling.

If you are having toothache weeks after filling or any abnormal sign like swelling or a rash, reach out to us.

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