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The link between dental fillings and tooth sensitivity: causes and solutions

Are you experiencing tooth sensitivity after getting a filling? Don’t worry! You’re not alone. Tooth sensitivity after having a tooth filled is a common dental issue that affects many people. Here’s what you need to know.


The patient visits the dentist for the dental filling procedure


What are dental fillings?

When you have a cavity in your tooth, a filling is one of the most common dental procedures to treat it. During this procedure, the dentist will remove the decayed tooth tissue and fill the space with a material such as gold, porcelain, silver amalgam or tooth-coloured composite resin. This filling will restore the tooth’s function and prevent further decay.

Understanding tooth sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is characterized by a feeling of discomfort or pain when your teeth are exposed to certain stimuli, such as hot or cold temperatures or sweet or acidic foods. Common symptoms include sharp, sudden, shooting pain deep into tooth nerve endings or lingering discomfort.

The link between fillings and sensitivity

Short-term tooth sensitivity after a filling can occur for several reasons, including:


·       An irritated nerve. The tooth’s outer layers usually protect the nerve from exposure. However, fillings, especially deep ones, can get close to the nerve endings and cause irritation.


·       Incorrect bite alignment. Improperly fitted fillings can put extra pressure on the tooth when biting down, causing pain and discomfort.


·       Pulpitis. Inflammation of the pulp (the connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels) within the tooth may result in pain and discomfort. This frequently occurs with deep fillings.


Some people may also experience an allergic reaction to the filling material, which can cause discomfort.

Causes of tooth sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity isn’t exclusively linked to dental fillings. Other contributing factors include gum recession, enamel erosion and teeth grinding. Gum recession exposes the sensitive tooth roots, while enamel erosion and teeth grinding can wear down the protective layers of the teeth, making them more susceptible to sensitivity.

Solutions and management

While the pain you feel after a filling will likely go away in two to four weeks, you can try the following to help alleviate any discomfort:


·       Take over-the-counter pain relievers.

·       Use a desensitizing toothpaste.

·       Temporarily avoid excessively hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks.


While mild tooth sensitivity can be expected after a filling, persistent or severe discomfort shouldn’t be ignored. It may indicate an underlying issue such as a poorly fitting filling, recurrent decay or a more serious dental problem.

Dental clinic offering general dentistry services in London, Ontario

At Cosmo Dental Centre, we offer various dental services, including fillings, crowns, root canals and cleanings to keep your smile healthy. We also provide cosmetic dentistry services, like veneers and teeth whitening. Our dentist offers free consultations to all new patients in London and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to learn more.


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