Post-filling sensitivity: is it normal?

Post-filling sensitivity: is it normal?

Mar 15, 2016

Ice cream, popsicles, a bowl of frozen strawberries. Sound tasty? If you’ve recently had a filling, you may cringe at the thought of eating any of these.

But there’s no reason you should have to swear them off completely. Tooth sensitivity after a filling is a common issue, and, fortunately, it usually resolves itself. If you notice sensitivity or pain when your newly filled tooth comes into contact with cold foods, there are some things you can do to alleviate the problem.

March is National Frozen Foods Month, and we want you to be able to celebrate with your favorite frosty treat. (Just make sure you brush your teeth afterward!) Here’s what you should know about sensitivity after getting a filling.

Why is My Tooth Sensitive?

Tooth decay can cause irritation in the tooth, leading to pain and sensitivity. This compromises the health of your tooth and requires your dentist’s expertise. The repair of the cavity, although necessary, can temporarily cause sensitivity as the tooth heals. This is a natural response to the irritation that occurs from filling the tooth, but it should not be permanent. Just like any medical procedure, you’re likely to notice a little soreness afterward as the body works on its recovery.

In some cases, the filling may be close to a nerve, which can make the tooth even more sensitive for a few days. So, even if you’ve not experienced sensitivity after previous fillings, each tooth is different. You may notice this issue with a new filling even if you’ve never had it in the past.

How to Get Relief

The good news is, once you’ve had a tooth filled, you are on the path to healing. As the tooth adjusts to its filling, the sensitivity should become less and less obvious. In the meantime, you may wish to use a desensitizing toothpaste to calm the nerve if it bothers you. This can make eating cold foods more tolerable.

Over the next few days and weeks, you should notice improvement of any sensitivity. If you notice pain when you bite down or the sensitivity doesn’t seem to be lessening at all, be sure to call your dentist. In some cases, the filling needs to be reshaped in order to more closely match your bite. Your dentist should examine the tooth and discuss what kind of pain you’re having to determine the best way to provide relief.

Options for Fillings

Dr. Armstrong provides his patients with a full range of restorative dental services, as well as cosmetic, emergency, and preventive dental care. If your tooth requires a filling, Dr. Armstrong will discuss your options of amalgam (silver) or composite (tooth-colored) fillings. Together, you can decide what works best for you.

Our expert staff is ready to help you restore your smile to a healthy, beautiful state. To schedule an appointment at our Houston dental office, please contact us today!

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