Tooth sensitivity causes a tooth to hurt, particularly when it comes into contact with hot or cold food and drinks. This is because the nerve of the tooth has become exposed, and this pain can often be pinpointed to one area of the tooth.
If you have sensitive teeth, it can be a painful experience. People with sensitivity often find that the problem stops when a filling is placed. This article looks at what causes sensitivity and how a filling can help reduce symptoms.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
- Exposed tooth nerve endings cause tooth sensitivity. This can happen if you suffer from gum disease or if your tooth enamel becomes worn away.
- Bacteria that live in the mouth can break down the minerals in your teeth, which is called demineralization. It is this process that causes cavities and enamel erosion and also exposes the nerve inside the tooth.
- In some cases, sensitivity occurs if a filling breaks down or has cracks that allow bacteria penetration.
What Causes a Filling to Break Down?
A filling can develop cracks that allow the tooth nerve to become exposed. This is usually because the tooth has lost its shape. Losing your tooth’s shape makes it more prone to cracking and decay, so you should visit your dentist regularly.
Teeth that develop sensitivity after a filling are usually sensitive before the filling is placed, either because of dental disease or the type of denture used in the procedure.
You may suffer from tooth pain after a filling because you do not treat your dental disease properly or follow proper hygiene procedures.
What are Sensitive Teeth Symptoms?
- If you have a filling that has developed cracks, you will experience sensitivity. In this case, the pain will be intense in the same tooth area where the nerve is exposed. There may also be tenderness or burning when you touch that area of your tooth.
- If a filling breaks down, then different signs and symptoms will develop. Sensitivity can be felt under your tongue and around your cheekbone, gumline, or in any part of your mouth where the nerve is exposed.
The stinging sensation under your tongue can make it painful to eat and drink, even if there are no visible signs of decay or infection. Sensitive teeth symptoms depend on the cause of your problem.
How Can a Filling Stop Tooth Sensitivity?
If you have a filling that has developed cracks and is unprotected, then the sensitivity caused by exposure of the nerve may stop when a new filling is placed.
When putting in a filling, there are several things to consider. It is important to carry out all the recommended procedures correctly to avoid complications with your new filling.
One of these procedures involves working on both sides of the tooth. This prevents undercutting or hollowing out of the tooth underneath, leaving a gap for bacteria to enter and cause decay or infection. It also prevents damage to other teeth that might need attention from your dentist at some stage in the future.
Other Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
After a filling is placed, if you still experience pain in the same area of your tooth, then sensitivity may not be the problem.
In this case, you should consider how your tooth was positioned before the filling was placed. If the tooth root was damaged or fractured, then this could be to blame for your tooth sensitivity.
If you suffer from sensitive teeth because of gum disease, all gum disease problems must be treated. This can include scaling and root planning treatment. If a filling is damaged or decaying and cannot be saved, it must be removed as soon as possible.
This is particularly relevant if you have a filling that has developed cracks or cracks around a filling caused by an underlying dental problem like decay or fracture.
Cavities and gum disease can also cause tooth sensitivity symptoms. These often occur together, and they may need to be treated with a course of root canal treatment or gum surgery to treat the underlying cause of pain. This will help relieve your sensitivity symptoms and prevent further damage to your tooth’s nerve system.
What is an Amalgam Filling?
An amalgam filling is a composite filling that consists of silver and tin. This mixture is made to give a durable, white colour and appearance.
Amalgam fillings are commonly used in teeth that require root canal treatment. The process for placing an amalgam filling involves using an endodontic tool. The tooth must first be prepared by having the diseased part removed, allowing room for the filling to be placed on top of it.
If an amalgam filling is placed, it is essential to put it incorrectly. If you are not experienced in placing amalgam fillings, seek your dentist’s assistance. An experienced dentist will be able to tell if you are placing the filling incorrectly or if the surface of the filling is uneven.
This can lead to a seal that is too thin or too tight, which can irritate the surrounding tooth and cause tooth sensitivity. Also, even if you do not intend to have tooth sensitivity problems with a bicuspid or molar tooth (the two teeth located just below the tip of your upper jaw), the use of an amalgam filling can cause these teeth to become sensitive.
Additional Tips for Sensitive Teeth
There are some things you can do to help prevent the risk of tooth sensitivity.
- Do not chew on hard or abrasive foods, and avoid biting your tongue.
- Keep a clean mouth, especially after eating. Food in your mouth can influence the condition of your teeth and make them more susceptible to dental disease, which can result in tooth sensitivity.
- Always brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste using a soft-bristled brush or an electric toothbrush that has been fitted with antimicrobial bristles. This is important because it will help prevent dental caries from developing, where bacteria feed on sugars and produce acid resulting in cavities and decay.
Final Thoughts on Sensitive Teeth After Filling
Over-the-counter medications will help relieve your tooth sensitivity, but only to a certain point.
If your tooth pain will not subside with over-the-counter medications, or if you have other signs and symptoms that include swelling of your gums and sensitivity to hot or cold food, then you are better off seeing your dentist.
Be sure to follow all instructions from your dentist carefully to avoid future problems with tooth sensitivity.
If you find yourself suffering from sensitive teeth, don’t wait for it to go away because it might never go away. Get it checked out as soon as possible, so you don’t suffer any longer than necessary.