When a person has a cavity in their tooth, a dentist will probably recommend a filling. Fillings are safe and effective, but some people might experience discomfort or tooth sensitivity afterward.
Most of the time, this sensitivity is normal and will resolve within a few days or weeks.
A person should call their dentist right away if they have extreme pain, or if discomfort occurs with other symptoms, such as fever, redness, or swelling.
In this article, we look at the reasons why a person may have tooth sensitivity after a filling, how to treat it, and when to see a doctor or dentist. We also look at other possible causes of tooth sensitivity.
What should I expect after a filling?
A filling is a dental procedure that involves a dentist cleaning away any decay from the tooth and then filling the space with a new material.
After injecting a numbing agent around the tooth, the dentist will then clean out the decayed area of the tooth, usually with a dental drill. They will then fill the space with gold, silver amalgam, a composite, or porcelain.
For several hours after having a filling, a person's face may still feel numb, tingly, itchy, or puffy. They may have difficulty eating, swallowing, talking, or moving their face.
Sometimes, dentists recommend that people avoid eating or drinking for a few hours, as this may result in a person accidentally biting their tongue or cheek.
Once the numbing agent has worn off, these feelings will go away. But, in the following days and weeks, a person may notice some new sensations as they adjust to the new filling.
Sensitivity in the filled tooth or area around it is one of the most common occurrences during this time.