Prolonged Soreness After Dental Fillings: What to Know
Dental fillings are a common procedure, often seen as routine by some people. The expectation is that any discomfort or sensitivity afterwards should be temporary. However, some patients experience prolonged soreness, leading to questions and concerns. We at Cypress Dental aim to shed light on this topic and offer some guidance on managing post-filling soreness.
Why Fillings Are Done
Firstly, it's important to understand the purpose behind dental fillings. Fillings are typically done to treat cavities or minor tooth decay. A variety of materials like composite, amalgam, or porcelain can be used, each with its own set of pros and cons. At Cypress Dental, our team frequently uses composite as this material has reliable strength for biting and chewing and great longevity; plus, composite blends in with the natural colour of your enamel, making it a great aesthetic choice!
Common Post-Filling Experiences
Immediately after a filling, it's normal to experience some level of discomfort or sensitivity as your tooth adjusts to the new filling. These sensations are generally short-lived, lasting a few hours to a couple of days. You may manage this short-lasting pain with common over-the-counter pain medications until the tooth settles down. But what if the soreness persists? Keep reading to see how longer lasting filling pain should be managed!
Causes of Prolonged Soreness
There are a few reasons for prolonged soreness after a dental filling:
- Material Sensitivity: Some people may be sensitive to the material used in the filling.
- Incorrect Bite Alignment: If the filling is not perfectly aligned, it can affect your bite and cause discomfort.
- Deep cavity: Dental treatment to remove bacteria that was close to the dental nerve may require longer healing time.
When your filling is initially contoured, it may be difficult to notice incorrect bite alignment due to tooth numbness caused by dental freezing. Once the freezing wears off, this misalignment may become more identifiable. If an adjustment is needed, the dentist will contour the tooth further to ensure it perfectly fits with your existing bite.
When a cavity is large, the bacteria has travelled into the tooth and lives in close proximity to the dental nerve. This can cause the nerve to become irritated. After doing the filling, the nerve may take time some to recover from the treatment and become healthy again. During this period, the tooth may be extra sensitive to temperature. If the bacteria has infiltrated into the dental nerve, it can cause the tooth to become necrotic.
When Is It Normal, When Is It Not?
Temporary sensitivity following a dental filling is normal and can last for a few days. However, if you experience pain or discomfort such as spontaneous throbbing pain waking you up at night or extreme sensitivity to temperature that causes lingering pain, it's important to consult your dentist. that there may be an underlying issue requiring attention. Prolonged soreness to bite or flossing, could be a sign that a simple adjustment to the filling is needed.
How to Alleviate Soreness
For mild soreness, over-the-counter pain relievers can be effective. Cold compresses can also offer relief. If you've tried these remedies and the soreness persists, it's advisable to seek medical advice. Your dentist can determine if the filling needs adjustment or if another treatment is necessary.
When to Consult a Dentist
When home remedies don't provide relief, or if you're experiencing other symptoms like swelling or severe pain, it's time to consult a professional. At Cypress Dental, we can conduct a thorough examination and may perform additional tests like x-rays to identify the issue. Treatment options can then be discussed based on the findings.
To minimize the risk of prolonged soreness in future dental procedures, it's crucial to maintain good oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and regular dental check-ups can go a long way in preventing dental issues that require fillings in the first place.
Experiencing prolonged soreness after a dental filling can be concerning, but understanding its causes and knowing when to seek medical advice can ease your mind. It's always best to consult a professional if you're in doubt. After all, the goal is to preserve your oral health and ensure your comfort.
Contact Us: Cypress Dental
If you're facing prolonged discomfort after a dental filling or have other dental health concerns, don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with us. At Cypress Dental, we're committed to providing you with the highest standard of care. Contact us today to arrange your consultation!