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Why Your Tooth May Hurt After Getting a Filling

Posted on 6/30/2017 by Renée,
A woman receiving a dental filling.
Fillings are a fairly common procedure, used to fill spaces left behind by tooth decay and prevent these spaces from becoming worse. After receiving your filling, you may experience some pain. While irritating, it is actually quite normal. But why does it happen?

Teeth Sensitivity

One of the major causes of pain following a filling is a heightened sensitivity. Decay causes irritation to the tooth, and working on the tooth - drilling, packing in filling material - only irritates it further.

As a result of this added trauma, the pulp can swell, resulting in a condition known as pulpitis. In most cases, the swelling is only temporary, as is the pain, and will subside on its own in a few days. If the swelling does not resolve on its own, your next treatment option is a root canal.

Filling Material

The type of material used in your filling can lead to pain. Amalgam fillings, which are not as popular as they used to be, are made of metals, which conduct heat and cold. When exposed to temperature extremes, the material can trigger sensitivity within the tooth.

Composite materials are more popular these days, but even they can lead to some pain. This often happens if the filling is particularly deep, or if it is in an area that experiences more "flex." More stress on the area where the filling is can cause it to bend (composites are more flexible), which can cause pain.

Effects on the Bite
When the filling is placed on the chewing surface of your tooth, it can often cause an uneven bite. This is because the restored tooth is now uneven with its opposing tooth, which then throws your bite off. This can easily be solved with an adjustment from your dentist.

Tooth pain associated with a filling should dissipate on its own, usually within just a few days. However, if the pain lasts for more than a week, or becomes severe, be sure to contact our office today!

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