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Tooth Pain After Filling: Is It Normal?

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Published date field Last Updated: 25 Oct 2023

Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

The goal of getting a filling is to correct tooth decay or cavities and ease any discomfort they might cause. Some people may experience tooth pain after having a filling. There are a variety of reasons why you might feel a bit of pain or sensitivity after a dentist fills your tooth.

Reasons for Pain After a Filling

You may experience some pain or sensitivity in the treated tooth after a filling. Your dentist was just poking around and drilling in the tooth after all. Usually, any discomfort should fade after a day or two.

If you're still having sensitivity and pain several days after your filling, it may be due to an issue with the filling itself or with the tooth. One common reason for pain in a tooth after you get a filling is that the filling interferes with your bite. A filling that is just a little bit too high can cause malocclusion, which prevents the teeth from fitting together properly when you bite down.

The type of filling your dentist used can also cause sensitivity or discomfort in the tooth. For example, sensitivity is common when a composite resin shrinks slightly and creates a tiny gap beneath it. There are many ways to cope with or eliminate sensitivity due to a composite filling, from using a different material or changing the method used to place the filling.

What to Do About the Pain

What if it's been a week since your filling and you're still feeling pain when you bite down, eat or even just open your mouth? The best thing to do is schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. They will be able to pinpoint and correct the issue.

If it's a matter of malocclusion from a filling that is too high, the dentist will adjust the height of your filling so that you can bite down with comfort and ease. If you're dealing with sensitivity due to a composite filling, the dentist might recommend replacing the filling with a different material. Finally, if an inflamed nerve or an exposed pulp is behind your discomfort, your options might be to have a root canal treatment.

If you want to avoid cavities in the first place, establish a proper oral care routine at home. Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste will strengthen your enamel and help prevent cavities. Regularly flossing will also help you prevent cavities in between the teeth, where it is hard to reach with your toothbrush and will help keep your gums healthy. Regular dental visits are important too, for spotting any problems before they need major treatments.


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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.