Tooth Fillings or Restorations are done in cases of Tooth decay, abrasion, fracture etc with tooth decay or caries being one of the most common diseases of the human body. Tooth sensitivity is seen mostly in two situations – tooth decay which has reached the Dentin or when there is attrition or abrasion or the tooth which leads to loss of Enamel exposing the dentin thus leading to sensitivity. Actually, Tooth Sensitivity after a Tooth filling or restoration is common condition which is reported in close to 50% of the cases where restoration is done in Deep Dental Caries cases.
So let us look at what are the causes, how long does it last and what are the treatment options to deal with Sensitivity after tooth filling.
What is the cause of Sensitivity after Tooth Filling?
There are multiple causes of Sensitivity to be seen after a Tooth Filling or Restoration like Composite, GIC or amalgam etc. Let us look at all the reasons why sensitivity might occur and whether you need to worry about it and visit your dentist once again or wait it out.
Sensititvity to Hot and Cold: In case of a Restoration done in teeth where the Tooth Decay was deep, there will be slight sensitivity to Hot and Cold items for a few days. If the sensitivity is not resolved by itself after a few days it is best to vist your dentist to get it checked. Sensitivity is felt to hot and cold along with brushing, flossing and tenderness in your gums.
Pulpitis: In some cases of Deep dental caries, during the process of excavation of caries there might be a minute or pin point exposure of Pulp horn externally or in situations where the excavation is close to the pulp chamber or if the dentist could not remove complete caries it leads to pulpal involvement. There are two types of Pulpitis – Reversible and Irreversible, in case of reversible pulpitis there will be sensitivity but in case of Irreversible pulpitis it leads to infection of the pulp and causes pain and sensitivity.
High Point: This is also one of the most common causes of Tooth sensitivity and pain after a dental restoration, when the restoration is higher than the normal tooth height it leads to excess force being exerted on the particular tooth leading to either sensitivity or pain. It usually subsuded by removing the high point and it takes around 2-3 days to be rectified.
Fracture or Crack in Tooth Filling: When the Restoration is not properly done by taking all the required precautiouns it might develop cracks or gap between the tooth surface and filling. In such a case there will be sensitivity on consuming hot or cold substances and pain / sensitivity on chewing as well. The restoration has to be replaced.
How to deal with Sensitivity in Tooth after Filling?
It depends on what is the cause of Sensitivity, the most common precautions to be taken are – Use a desensitizing toothpase or gel, chew from the opposite side of the mouth, avoid hot and cold foods for a few days and in case of pain take any NSAID’s to releive pain.
If there is fracture of the tooth filling, it is best to visit the dentist and get it replaced. In case of pain it might be irreversible pulpitis and it has to be checked with the help of an Xray.
How Long does Sensitivity last after Tooth Fillin?
Sensitivity of the tooth after a Tooth Filling or Restoration like Composite, Amalgam, GIC etc last anywhere from a few days to a week. It usually subsides on its own without any intervention. If the sensitivity does not seem to decrease over time, it is better to visit the dentist to get it checked.