Home Dental problems Toothache after filling a tooth: types & causes

Toothache after filling a tooth: types & causes

by Tijana

Usually, the toothache goes away after we treat the affected tooth with a filling. In rare cases, however, pain occurs after the filling therapy. But why do these toothaches arise? Find out here what the most common causes are.


What does dental filling do?

A tooth filling is usually used to repair a carious tooth. Thus, filling therapy counts for tooth preservation. Varied materials are available to the dentist for tooth fillings. Filling materials are amalgam, plastics, or types of cement. All filling materials have in common that caries-related lesions should be clean before they can be closed.

What are causes of toothache?

Not all toothaches are equal. In pain treatment, patients report throbbing pain, pressure pain, or pulling toothache, depending on the cause of the pain.

Causes of throbbing pain

Throbbing or pulsating pain cause by inflammation. They become stronger with physical exertion and pulsate with the heartbeat. Often the symptoms are worse in the evening than in the morning. The cause of throbbing pain increase blood flow to inflamed tissue. Inflammation causes redness, warmth, swelling, and pain. If it inflames the nerve inside the tooth, it has no room to swell. Therefore, severe toothache often occurs.

If the gums are inflamed, they are usually red, swollen, and bleed when touched.

Causes of Pressure Pain

In most cases, pressure pain cause by the accumulation of inflammatory secretions. Inflammation cause either by increased blood flow or by accumulations of pus. If pus had been formed in the bones or gums, it creates a lot of pressure before it comes to the surface.

Another cause can be the overloading of the teeth holding apparatus. If they overstretch the thin fibers that anchor the tooth in the bone, sensitivity also arises.

Drawing pains

Pulling toothaches have different causes. Mostly, nerve tubules are exposed somewhere on the tooth which irritate by external stimuli. You can provoke this toothache with cold and warmth. If there is no external stimulus, the affected tooth is symptom-free.

Causes of toothache after a filling

Toothache after a new filling is more common than you might think. They can have various causes. Mostly they are harmless, but if they do not go away within the first few days, have the new filling checked by your dentist.

Pain from filling too much

The simplest cause of discomfort after a new filling is that the filling does not fit your teeth perfectly. If we carried the treatment out under local anesthesia, you may not say exactly whether the filling level is optimal. When the anesthetic wears off, it feels like you are just biting the filled tooth. Then the bite is not yet optimal. This situation can be painful.

A visit to the dentist can help. He corrects the bite, and the discomfort disappears.

Deep tooth decay pain

Another reason for toothache after treatment can be the depth of the tooth decay removed. If the dentist had to clean the corresponding tooth close to the nerve, the dental nerve sometimes irritated by the treatment or the filling material. In most cases, the tooth is then overly sensitive to heat or cold.

If these symptoms do not go away on their own, you may need a root canal treatment. The root canal treatment removes the irritated nerve from inside the tooth and can then no longer cause pain.

Pain from exposed tooth necks

To fill a defect, the dentist sometimes must push the gums to one side or put a mold around the tooth that pushes itself around the teeth holding apparatus. Nerve tubules end directly on the surface and are overly sensitive to cold and warm influences.

We can treat exposed tooth necks with a protective varnish, so they are no longer so sensitive. If that does not help, they can cover them with filling material.

Pain from inflammation of the teeth and gums

During filling therapy, we may press bacterial plaque into the gums. This can cause inflammation with pain, swelling, and bleeding gums.

A first-aid measure is a thorough cleaning with a toothbrush, dental floss, and interdental brush. If the discomfort, swelling, and bleeding do not go away within a few days, see your dentist.

Deep caries can cause bacteria to penetrate the tooth nerve. These bacteria cause the nerve to become inflamed (pulpitis), which can lead to very severe toothache. These are mostly throbbing. The corresponding tooth is above all sensitive to heat, but also to cold and hurts when touched and when chewing. Here, a root canal treatment must also carry out to get rid of the toothache.

Grinding teeth through a filling

A filling can change the bite situation in your mouth slightly. Although you do not find this change disturbing, your masticatory system registers it and tries to restore the original situation. You unconsciously grind over the new filling.

Since the filling materials are extremely hard, they press the filled tooth into its tooth socket in the bone. It stretches the thin fibers to which we attach it in the jaw. This can cause toothache, especially when chewing. Let your dentist check the filling. A slight correction of the tooth filling often helps.

Pain from the treatment itself

Not only tooth decay can cause toothache. Treating tooth decay can also lead to sore teeth.

It can cause toothache, for example, by air bubbles in the filling material. Also, drying the tooth during the treatment can be painful. Especially with plastic fillings, the defect must completely drain so that the tooth filling holds. The drying shifts the fluid in the small nerve tubules in the dentine.

In rare cases, the filling is not properly attached. Then a gap creates through which external influences reach the nerve tubules. Here, the tooth filling must renew.

With exceptionally large defects, a gap remains between the filling and the neighboring tooth. When chewing, food particles settle in the space between the teeth. Bacteria feed on these leftovers, which can cause gingivitis and new tooth decay. If you notice this problem, your dentist should check the filling.

With deep caries, it is sometimes better for the prognosis of the tooth to leave some caries under the filling so as not to open the nerve. Normally, the caries bacteria die under the filling. However, if they move further in the tooth’s direction nerve, they cause toothache, so we must carry a root canal treatment out.

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