Cavity fillings are common dental procedures. Over time, the buildup of bacteria on the teeth can turn into harmful plaque, which can cause tooth decay. This decay can create small holes in your teeth. Tooth fillings plug these holes and prevent the decay from spreading further. Many people will have cavities filled at some point in their lives, even if they practice good oral hygiene habits.
Occasionally, you might experience tooth pain after a filling. If you recently received a tooth filling and are in pain, contact your dentist right away. Your dentist will determine if you need to be seen immediately. Most likely, they will suggest several methods for minimizing the pain.
Tooth Fillings and Pain
You might experience tooth pain or sensitivity before a filling. This is because tooth decay can leave the sensitive nerves of your tooth exposed.
During a filling, your dentist will numb the area around the affected tooth. You might feel numb, itchy, or puffy for several hours after the procedure.
After a tooth filling, some people also experience discomfort and sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. If you feel a slight amount of pain when eating or drinking hot or cold foods or beverages, this is normal and should go away in a matter of days or weeks. Unless this pain is severe, there is nothing to worry about.
Another type of pain or discomfort you might experience after a cavity filling is a change in your bite. If the filling causes your teeth to line up incorrectly, you might experience some sensitivity when biting down. This will typically go away with time.
Finally, you might experience pain related to inflammation in your tooth. If your tooth is damaged or you’ve had it filled multiple times, it might need attention from your dentist.
What Should You Do for Pain After a Tooth Filling?
If you’ve recently had a cavity filled and are experiencing pain, first, determine how severe the pain is and whether or not it is interfering with your normal daily activities. If so, reach out to a dentist immediately. They can diagnose the issue and provide you with desensitizing toothpaste or antibiotics in case of an infection.
In addition to discussing your options with your dentist, other things you can do to minimize pain after a filling include:
- Brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid irritation
- Avoiding food for several hours after receiving the filling
- Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever
- Using a numbing ointment
- Avoiding whitening products
In trying to avoid cavities in the first place, practice good oral hygiene on a daily basis. Brush, floss, and avoid sugary drinks and foods. Brush gently to avoid irritating your gums. Reduce soda intake or switch to water altogether. Avoid tobacco use. Finally, visit your dentist twice a year for preventative care.
Reach Out to Columbia Smiles for Cavity Fillings Today
Regularly visiting your dentist can help you catch cavities before they turn into more severe issues. Left untreated, tooth decay can lead to tooth loss and even blood infections. Between dentist appointments, brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss to remove hard-to-reach plaque between the teeth.
Columbia Smiles has provided high-quality dental care to Howard County residents for over 35 years. At our practice, we offer a number of services, including teeth cleanings, fillings, cosmetic dentistry services, and emergency dental services. If you’re experiencing tooth pain after a filling, we can help diagnose the issue and help relieve the pain.