Usually, we don’t expect to feel pain after getting dental fillings. However, cases, when a tooth hurts under a filling, are not uncommon. You shouldn't panic. It’s necessary to analyze the situation - the duration, intensity of discomfort, and the features of the therapy.
In case of any pain that bothers you, it’s a good idea to contact your dentist. But why does the pain appear? First, let’s find out all the possible causes.
What May Be the Causes of Pain after Dental Filling
This process is often stressful for a patient because it is associated with pain and discomfort. It’s normal. The discomfort after the procedure can last several hours, sometimes several days (up to a week). It can appear when the jaws are closed, during chewing, and also regardless of movements. The nature of the pain can be either dull or throbbing. All these manifestations are normal, and over time should recede on their own.
If this does not happen, the reasons for this may be the following factors:
- The seal is installed incorrectly. For example, it may be too high, which causes discomfort when chewing, closing the jaws, and pressing them. In this case, the problem is solved quite simply and quickly - it needs to be reduced in height and there is no need for re-sealing;
- The filling material does not adhere tightly to the enamel, which remains unprotected from external influences. As a rule, the solution in such a situation is re-filling;
- It rarely happens but during the opening of the tooth cavity, performing other dental procedures, its tissues (pulp, root canals) were injured;
A medical error may also lie in the fact that the doctor did not notice or ignored any pathology of the tooth, and sealed it without first having performed proper treatment.
In the last two cases, the methods for fixing the problem can be completely different depending on the situation. Only a dentist should develop a strategy for dealing with the problem.
But it happens that the pain does not go away for a long time or occurs after some period after the installation of the filling. Moreover, from this moment it can take several weeks, months and even years.
Why Your Tooth May Hurt Under the Old Filling
Accompanying symptoms will help to identify the causes of this trouble:
- Pulpitis. Its main symptoms are acute pain of a pulsating nature. This problem occurs if nerves were preserved in the tooth;
- Chronic pulpitis. Sometimes the inflammatory process of the nerve bundle of the tooth proceeds not with severe pain, but with a weak one. It appears with pressure, closing the jaws, and typically doesn't last long. In the chronic form, pulpitis can also pass beyond the acute stage, which the patient ignored and eliminated its symptoms with painkillers. The absence of acute pain is not a sign that the root cause has receded. The disease continues to progress, and sooner or later the patient will have to treat the tooth in which it occurs;
- Inflammatory process at the tops of the roots. It is usually accompanied by dull pain, which is aggravated by closing the jaws. Sometimes the sensations are not painful but are manifested by a feeling of fullness, and pressure inside the tooth. Inflammation can develop due to improperly sealed canals, poorly installed fillings, violations of the integrity of tooth tissues, and many other reasons.
- Low-quality filling material. You can suspect this problem by the reaction of the tooth to sour, sweet, hot, and cold food and drinks.
- Seal shrinkage. Over time, the filling material can shrink, starting to put pressure on the pulp. As a result, it irritates the nerve endings, causing pain. Usually, it is sharp and pronounced. In this case, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible to install a new filling, and, if possible, save the neurovascular bundle (leave the tooth “alive”);
- Loosening of the filling, the appearance of gaps between it and dental tissues. For various reasons (decay, loose sealing between the filling and the tooth), dental tissues can wear out and gradually collapse. The seal becomes mobile, which causes the nerve endings to react to it. The symptoms are similar to those that appear in the case of its shrinkage;
- Worn filling material. Years later, it may lose its ability to protect the tooth, which often leads to the development of various diseases in it.
What If the Tooth Hurts under Temporary Filling?
Usually, it is installed during the treatment of the tooth so that it is protected from external influences between visits to the doctor. The causes of discomfort are also associated with tissue trauma, which is the norm.
Another reason why there is pain under a temporary filling is the effect of a medicine that is placed in the tooth cavity. Often it acts directly on the pulp, which reacts to it.