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If the pain of toothache has deterred you from having your cavity filled, it’s important to remember that the goal of the filling is to prevent pain and the spread of a dental infection. While tooth sensitivity after filling may occur, it is nothing like the discomfort of toothache and the potential of tooth loss if you leave a cavity untreated. Let’s take a closer look at why it’s so important to fill cavities and why potential sensitivity shouldn’t put you off seeking dental treatment.


The Importance Of Addressing Decay With Dental Fillings 

We understand that having a cavity and needing a filling can be painful, particularly if a large area of your tooth has decayed, or if the decay runs deep and is affecting the tooth nerve. Often patients wait too long before they seek treatment for cavities and come into the practice feeling uncomfortable already.

Many patients already feel sensitive and have concerns about dental work making it worse but you must remember that the purpose of having the decay cleaned out and the tooth filled is to restore it. This means the tooth’s pain and sensitivity should be addressed and any cavities, cracks or fractures will be fixed so that the tooth can be restored to full functionality. This is important to remember because any untreated decay will not self resolve; it will spread and erode more of your tooth surface.

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How To Manage Tooth Sensitivity After Filling?

Some degree of tooth sensitivity can be expected after dental fillings, particularly if the tooth was badly decayed or if the decay was very close to the tooth root. However any sensitivity should improve quite quickly in the days after the treatment, and it shouldn’t get worse.

When To Know If Sensitivity Is A Sign Of A Problem?

Sensitivity that gets worse, only starts a few days after your procedure or is markedly worse should be referred to your dentist. Some possible explanations could be

  • That not all the infected material was removed during the procedure 
  • That the filling was built up too high for your bite, and needs to be worn down a bit
  • Sometimes the pain can be felt in teeth that weren’t worked on, but rather in the adjacent teeth. This is known as referral pain.


Managing Tooth Sensitivity After Dental Fillings

Generally, avoiding eating on the side of the mouth where your tooth was restored, eating soft foods and avoiding hot and cold foods are sufficient to manage sensitivity after dental fillings. If the tooth is noticeably sensitive or uncomfortable when biting down it’s quite possible the filling was built up too high and needs to be filed down.

If pain or sensitivity is persistent and doesn’t improve you should return to your dentist for a follow up.

In some cases composite resin dental fillings may need to be revised as they can shrink once they have dried, leaving a gap with the tooth where bacteria and debris can enter and cause more irritation and infection.


If you have any concerns about tooth sensitivity after filling it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible. Please contact us: (07) 3185 2387.

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