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Tooth pain after a Dental filling. What should I do?


A dental filling is a common procedure aimed at restoring a decayed tooth to its normal function and shape. However, for some individuals, the experience doesn’t end with the dental chair. Instead, they might encounter discomfort or sensitivity post-filling, which can be unsettling. This article delves into the reasons behind this pain and offers insights into what steps you can take to address and potentially avoid such discomfort.

Why Post-Filling Pain Occurs

Firstly, it’s essential to recognize that some degree of sensitivity or mild discomfort following a dental filling is relatively normal. This sensitivity often arises due to factors like the type of filling material used or minor adjustments needed in the bite. However, persistent or severe pain demands closer attention, as it might signal underlying issues.


A common cause of discomfort post-filling is malocclusion, where the filling doesn’t align properly with your bite. This misalignment can lead to discomfort while chewing or biting down. Adjusting the filling’s height resolves this issue, ensuring your bite feels natural and comfortable.

Filling Types

The type of filling material used can also contribute to sensitivity. For instance, composite resin fillings may shrink slightly, creating gaps beneath them and causing sensitivity. Discussing alternative filling materials or adjusting the placement technique can mitigate this sensitivity.

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Deep Fillings and Pulp Involvement

Deep fillings, particularly those in close proximity to the tooth’s pulp, might result in heightened pain. When decay is deep and near the pulp, it might lead to inflammation or infection within the pulp chamber. Blocking the drainage from the pulp during filling can increase intra-pulpal pressure, causing severe pain. In such cases, a root canal treatment might be necessary to alleviate the discomfort.

Broken and Dislodged Fillings

Occasionally, problems arise due to the filling itself. Breakage or dislodgment of the filling can create openings where materials from the oral cavity seep in, leading to secondary decay and pain.

Broken tooth

The repercussions of a fractured tooth due to an improperly placed filling can be discomforting and may necessitate further dental intervention. In some cases, the tooth might require additional treatment beyond just replacing the filling, such as a crown or even extraction if the damage is extensive.

Post-Root Canal Filling Pain:

Even after a root canal treatment, pain might persist due to issues with the filling. Revisiting the dentist for a proper diagnosis and potential re-treatment may be necessary in such instances. In rare instances your dentist might advise for a re-root canal.

Steps to Address Post-Filling Pain:

If you’re experiencing persistent pain after a filling, it’s crucial to take immediate action:

  1. Schedule an appointment with your dentist promptly.
  2. Allow your dentist to diagnose the cause of the pain, which might include X-rays or further investigations.
  3. Based on the findings, your dentist will propose a treatment plan or adjustments to alleviate discomfort.
  4. Seeking a second opinion can offer clarity in uncertain situations.

Prevention Is Key:

While addressing post-filling discomfort is essential, preventing cavities in the first place is paramount:

  1. Maintain a consistent oral hygiene routine by brushing twice daily and flossing regularly.
  2. Schedule regular dental check-ups to detect issues early on and prevent the need for extensive treatments.


Experiencing pain after a dental filling can be concerning, but understanding the potential causes and taking prompt action can alleviate discomfort. From addressing malocclusion to exploring different filling materials and seeking timely dental care, proactive measures can help manage and prevent post-filling pain. Remember, your dentist is your ally in maintaining oral health, so never hesitate to seek their guidance when encountering dental issues.

Dr. Kiran MDS

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