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I Just Got a Filling, and My Teeth Are Suddenly Sensitive! What Should I Do?

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Let’s face it: getting a filling isn’t a fun time. While it can certainly help our overall oral health, it’s just one of those things that’s so much better once it’s finished.

But what happens if you leave the dentist’s office after a filling and notice your teeth suddenly feel sensitive? Is this normal? Should you be worried? Are there ways to ease the sensitivity?

Read on for the answers to all these questions!

Why are your teeth sensitive after a filling?

There are a few common reasons your teeth may be painful after a filling. The obvious is that your tooth was just worked on by a dental professional who had to drill into it to remove all the decay — you don’t just get a filling without the cavity, of course! According to Christine Frank, DDS, the procedure “inflames the pulp, which is the connective tissue that forms the center of your teeth, causing pulpitis.”

The procedure could have also slightly changed your bite, which can cause tooth sensitivity (and you may need to go back to your dentist to get your filling reshaped). Other reasons your teeth may be sensitive after a filling are a possible allergic reaction (this is rare) or the cavity went so deep into the pulp of the tooth that the tissue is no longer healthy, and a root canal may be required.

What can you do about tooth sensitivity after a filling?

Now that you know what the cause of the sensitivity may be, you need to know what you can do to help the pain go away — fast! 

While the pain will likely go away entirely in two to four weeks on its own (and if it doesn’t you should immediately consult with your dentist), Frank says you can also try any of the following remedies to alleviate some of the problem: take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory, avoid sweet foods and drinks, and limit your consumption of extremely hot or cold drinks.

Dealing with tooth sensitivity in general

While dental fillings can cause short-term sensitivity, many people deal with sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks on the daily. The good news? This kind of tooth sensitivity can be treated! Brushing twice a day with Sensodyne Rapid Relief toothpaste can bring significant relief from sensitivity in as little as three days, which means you can go back to enjoying the foods you love (hello, ice cream!) without having to give it a second thought.

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