Most people get tooth fillings to relieve discomfort, so when you experience pain within months after getting a filling it can be concerning. While tooth sensitivity is common up to four weeks after a filling procedure, pain that occurs after that window should always be evaluated by your dentist. If you’re asking yourself, “Why does my filling still hurt?” the following reasons for tooth pain after fillings may help you pinpoint the problem and treat it properly.
What are the Causes of Tooth Pain After Fillings?
The tooth filling process requires your dentist to administer a local anesthetic so he or she can remove diseased tissue. This process stimulates the nerves. Unfortunately, after the numbing agents wear off, you will feel sensitivity. This is especially true if your tooth decay was deep or covered a large area of your tooth. But if your filling still hurts several weeks or months following the procedure, you could be dealing with any of the following issues.
When an inflammatory reaction occurs inside the pulp of your tooth it can cause pain from a condition known as pulpitis. You may find yourself with pulpitis after getting a tooth filling because of dental drilling. If this is the case, this type of pulpitis can be reversed and will usually go away on its own. Sometimes pulpitis can occur if decayed tissue is left behind and then covered with a filling. This can cause an infection which will need treatment. If pulpitis is very severe, root canal treatment may be recommended.
Pain after a dental filling can be caused by an allergy to the tooth filling materials used during the procedure. If this happens, your dentist may recommend replacing the filling with a different material.
If filling material is placed too high, it can cause an uneven bite. This can make things painful when you chew or bite down. High fillings cause your tooth to push down a lot harder, making your periodontal ligaments tender. The good news is that your dentist can easily treat a high filling by grinding it down during a follow-up dental visit.
If you experience pain in teeth that surround the tooth that has a filling, this is called referred pain. This condition is quite common for people who receive tooth fillings. Referred pain causes pain signals to appear in other teeth and usually goes away on its own after a few weeks. If the pain occurs longer than four weeks, contact your dentist for a dental exam.
How Long Should a Tooth Hurt After a Filling?
If you just had your filling placed, it will be sensitive once the anesthetic wears off. You may experience sensitivity to hot or cold foods, chewing, and changes in air temperature. It is very common to have tooth sensitivity like this after a filling, but discomfort should go away within two to four weeks. It’s important to remember that if pain is present after that, you should contact your dentist.
Tooth Filling Pain Remedies
While tooth sensitivity will occur after a filling, you can reduce your risk of both pain and ongoing sensitivity by trying the following remedies.
- Take ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers
- Stay away from very hot or very cold foods for a couple of weeks
- Temporarily avoid acidic foods like citrus fruits, citrus drinks, yogurt, wine, and coffee
- Chew on the opposite side of your mouth
- Temporarily stop eating really hard foods
- Gently brush and floss your teeth using soft, circular motions
- Use toothpaste for sensitive teeth or ask your dentist about desensitizing toothpaste
- Use extra-soft floss
Remember: The above information points are to be used as general guidelines and should not be substituted for medical advice. If you feel that your tooth pain following a filling isn’t normal, contact our skilled dentists right away for a dental exam.
Tooth Filling Pain Treatment in Columbus Ohio
If you are still experiencing tooth pain or sensitivity a month after your tooth filling, your pain is getting worse instead of better, or you need replacement tooth fillings, our experienced dentists at Capstone Dental in Clintonville can help. Contact us today for a thorough dental exam so we can figure out the cause of your pain and provide relief.