If you’ve ever experienced persistent tooth pain, it’s likely that your dentist restored your tooth to a healthy state by removing the decay and giving you a cavity filling. Cavity fillings are an incredibly common procedure that dentists use to protect teeth from further decay. While a filling can relieve your discomfort, some patients may experience tooth pain that lasts for a few days or even weeks after the procedure. Post-filling tooth pain is not uncommon and can usually be easily managed.
Visiting your dentist after receiving a filling is the best way to assess if the pain is normal or if it’s indicative of a more serious issue. Further treatment, such as dental trauma treatment or a root canal, may be necessary if the pain is long-lasting and intense, as that can indicate that the restoration was not perfect.
If you’re experiencing tooth pain and want the expert advice of a dentist, you should contact your dental provider. Dr. Michael Hsu of Columbia Smiles is here to help those in Howard County and the surrounding area who are experiencing tooth pain. Our commitment to patient comfort and satisfaction is what sets us apart. If you’re in pain, call 410.690.4855 today or reach out online to make an appointment.
An Overview of Cavity Fillings
Cavity fillings are some of the most 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.
Why You Might Experience Tooth Sensitivity After a Filling
It’s normal to experience some discomfort after receiving a cavity filling, especially if the decay was deep and close to the root of your tooth. While this pain should subside after a few days, it can help to take an over-the-counter pain reliever in the meantime.
When receiving 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.
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.
You also 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.
Finally, dental trauma can cause pain after a cavity filling. If you’ve recently had a traumatic experience, such as a fall or car accident, it can cause your teeth to become sensitive. In this case, you should visit your dentist right away.
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 – Hard bristles can aggravate your tooth, so it’s best to opt for a softer option.
- Avoiding food for several hours after receiving the filling – The filling material needs time to set and harden, so eating or drinking shortly after your procedure could be uncomfortable.
- Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever – Ibuprofen has been known to help with post-filling pain.
- Using a numbing ointment – A numbing ointment can provide relief from pain and help you get back to your normal routine.
- Avoiding whitening products – Teeth whitening products contain bleaching agents that can irritate the area near your filling.
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.