Monday, June 24, 2024
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Why Your Tooth Is Sensitive After A Filling

Many people experience sensitivity after getting a dental filling.  As I’ve mentioned, sometimes this sensitivity can be attributed to a high filling.

A tooth can also be sensitive after a filling due to other reasons.  Here are a few reasons why your tooth might be sensitive after a filling and what you can do about it.

Why Your Tooth Is Sensitive After a Filling

Tooth Sensitive After FillingWhen you sit down in the dental chair to get a filling, one of the first things that the dentist will do is to give you an anesthetic injection to make it so you can’t feel the pain of the upcoming dental procedure.

When your dentist goes in and removes the decay from your tooth, it is very painful and can traumatize the tooth.  Luckily, due to the anesthetic, you usually don’t feel the pain caused by this process of repairing your tooth.  This is the main cause of tooth sensitivity after a filling — your body is simply telling you that the tooth was traumatized.

The bigger your cavity (and resulting filling), the more likely it is that you will experience sensitivity after the filling is done.

Other than trauma, there are a few other reasons why you might experience a sensitive tooth after a filling:

  • If you have a high filling
  • If you have a large metal filling – it can conduct cold more quickly to the nerve of the tooth.  Also, if your dentist didn’t use a material to seal the tiny tubes that travel from the filling to the nerve, it can cause increased sensitivity.
  • If you have a large white filling – if it is placed too quickly, it can cause stress on the surrounding tooth structure

What to Do When Your Tooth Is Sensitive After a Filling

In most cases, you don’t need to do anything — your dental pulp will gradually insulate itself from the filling, which should cause the sensitivity to go away.  This process can take anywhere from one to several weeks.

If your sensitivity does not resolve and feels like it’s getting worse, then you should see your dentist.  It could be that you have a high filling, or that the filling needs to be redone.


In summary, know that having a sensitive tooth after a filling is completely normal.  Sensitivity that gets worse is not normal.  Worsening sensitivity is a sign that something is wrong and you should see your dentist to determine the problem so that a solution can be found.

Do you have any questions, comments, or concerns about tooth sensitivity after a filling?  Go ahead and leave them in the comments section below.  Thanks for reading!



    • I had a filling replaced , it was very sensitive and hurt to chew on, now about 8 weeks later it’s felling much better but my dentist said my tooth is dead and needs a root canal, is this correct, thank you.

  1. Hi Tom, thanks for this! Very helpful! I had a filling (large, white) done yesterday and was feeling sensitivity this morning (when biting down at certain angles, and even with sharp intake of breath)… normal, right?

  2. I have had seven fillings over the past two months. My entire mouth is hot and cold sensitive and flares up every afternoon with pain. Advil helps a ton. Only one of my cavities was a deep cavity and I have had my teeth double checked to make sure they align/close properly. Is this normal? Will it eventually go away?

  3. Hi after having a inlay all settled then the dentist drilled around the inlay at the corners of the cusp … Now i drank cold water which shot to the nerve painfull.. Over the next few days I’ve had a weird burning sensation in tooth . What’s wrong ??..many thanks for ur response.

  4. I had 3 large fillings 2 weeks ago, they were all close together and done at the same time. they are still hot and cold sensitive with some mild to moderate pain mainly in the evening. Shouldn’t this have subsided by now?

  5. Can someone please give me some advice? Went to dentist 6 weeks ago for cleaning. Xrays showed small cavity on lower right tooth (#29). Went back a week later, had cavity filled with white filling (He used a laser, not a drill, gave me no numbing shots. Said this was the latest technology & that I wouldn’t feel a thing, which was a lie. It felt like I was biting down on a huge piece of aluminum foil, but I survived it). Tooth was extremely sensitive afterwards. After 2 more weeks of continuous pain, I went back. He did more Xrays, roots look good, & he said my bite was off & filed the tooth down a little. Felt a little better but not completely. He said I had more or less bruised the tooth from my bite being off & that it would be sensitive for awhile. After 2 more weeks & still continuous pain (throbbing & sensitivity to cold & heat, plus I cannot chew on that side), I went back again. Xrays still showing the roots are good & no infection. Carbon paper showed my bite was WAY off (worse than before). He said my teeth had shifted (this much in a few weeks??) & yet again filed the tooth down, majorly…. I’ve searched everything I can about this. From the pulp being inflamed to the ligament under the roots being damaged. He says I do not need a root canal. Why is this still hurting so bad? Any ideas? ….The teeth above this one (#4 & #5) also hurt now, too. My jaw & my right ear hurt. I’ve been to my family doc. No sinus or ear infection. White blood count is normal…..I’ve taken almost 500 Advil in the past 6 weeks……Is it normal to hurt like this & for this long? Will it ease up, eventually? ….I’m about ready to pull the tooth, myself! …. PLEASE HELP! ……So sorry for the long post….Thank you for ANY advice.

    • Im no dentist but had a similar thing going on with my tooth, i think im going to get the tooth pulled im over it. The sore jaw i also have which is related to clenching/ grinding my teeth at night while i sleep. Trying out a mouth guard now, look into sisu mouth guards, they were cheap compared to a dentist one and easy to fit! Good luck!

  6. Hi, I had a cavity filling about a month ago and it was still sensitive about two weeks after so I went in to get it checked. He said to take another week or two and if it is sensitive then go back. But when I left the operating room, I did hear him say to his assistant that he might have to do a root canal on me if the sensitivity doesn’t improve. How did I go from getting a simple cavity filled to possibly having to get a root canal? It is now a month since I had the cavity filled and it’s still feeling sensitive, especially with hot drinks. I called the office today and the assistance said to wait another week, and in the meantime, apply some sensodyne cream. I am not sure I have much confidence in their office anymore. I would greatly appreciate your input on what I should do at this point.

  7. Im tired of putting my trust in dentists. Have to go back today after spending two hundred dollars last week on a dental appointment.

  8. Exactly same as here! Had two fillings, one deep, last week and feel so much in pain and distressed. Both white. Never had a problem with my teeth before and the receptionist said the dentist had put in his notes that he may not be able to save tooth?? Never informed me. Now I am anxious and worried and bite is high. Went back to have it adjusted but it’s still off. He said my bite was out in the first place which I don’t care about I just want to be able to bite evenly. I am going to try to see my old dentist (should never have moved but did when I moved house) and see what he suggests as I trust him as he treats my teeth conservatively. It really spoils your life toothache! My teeth feel bruised, sore, throbbing in pain. Ibuprofen helping slightly. All my other teeth seem to ache in that area as they have moved it feels to accommodate the traumatised teeth. Horrendous. Always get a second opinion!

  9. I got a filling in my tooth today at 8.45 and since then it has been killing me non stop I can’t bare the pain and pain killers are not helping what can I do

  10. Wow, I had no idea that your tooth will eventually insulate itself from the filling after you get one. It is just so cool that our bodies have that sort of adaptability. If I were to get a filling, though, I’d definitely go with a white one. That way, if the tops of my teeth are seen, it won’t look like I have food stuck in my teeth!

  11. i have a tooth ache weeks ago until now i really dont know what to do coz its so painful my parents said that i have to fiiling my tooth or pasta but before that what should medicine should i have to take?

  12. I got 2 large white fillings a week ago. It started with sensitivity and has become agonizing pain. I had the dentist recheck them yesterday, he did a bite test and put some yellow bees wax looking stuff on my teeth and gums. Basically I can’t eat. Chewing anything is agonizing and makes that whole side of my mouth throb for hours. He did not give me anything for pain, but I have some Norco 7.5 from my orthopedic doctor. These are only taking the edge off and when they wear off, it wakes me up. If I don’t eat anything for 8 or more hours the pain is minimal. But chewing on anything is killing me. Is this normal? What could be going on? Any ideas?

    • I had a similar pain, for some reason drinking full cream milk eased the pain. I cannot explain why, it just did and eventually i drank enough i didn’t feel it anymore.

  13. Great post! It’s good to know that sensitivity is totally normal after getting a dental filling. My tooth has been causing me some irritation lately, and I think it might be a cavity. If it is, then I know that it is likely that I’ll get a filling for it. However, if I do get one, I’ll be sure to steer away from a metal filling— I imagine that the sensitivity wouldn’t go completely away for this type.

  14. I had 5 fillings done all at once 2 weeks ago. They are extremely sensative to hot and cold so bad it feels like I got hit in the jaw…is this normal?

  15. i had a very old alum feeling taken out 3 weeks ago it took the dentist 1 1/2 hours to get out 2 feelings she took out 2 cavities and filled with the white feeling, my feeling was too high had it adjusted 2 times finally not hitting hard, but the tooth that was not hitting is super sensitive i can not even chew on that side, cold, hot, air everything bothers it!!! went in they took xray and said it was fine, put a sealant on it, it seems worst!!! HELP

  16. billie, snap I had a premolars with a silver filling replaced with a white one four weeks ago I was in the chair over an hour . I went back today as I can’t put any pressure on it . I thought I just needed a bite adjustment but dentist said it was fine. he sprayed cold air and I nearly hit the ceiling. He then put a sealant on it. Sprayed cold air again and I still felt it despite two injections. He then decided to pack down the side of the gum . He said I may have to have it refilled next week if I’m still in pain. It’s been 2 1/2 hours now and the pain is worse I hope that is just because he has upset the nerve and caused inflammation by going down the side of the gum

  17. I have recently been to the dentist as I have had 2 fillings fall out, one is pretty deep and can only be replaced with the silver filling as part of my tooth has broken too. The fillings came out 4 weeks ago and he said I need root canal treatment but I feel no pain or Sensitivity in that tooth , do I really need the root canal treatment ?

  18. Broke a molar before Christmas that had a very old filling in and my dentist gave me a temporary filling to last until my regular appointment was due. In eating on the opposite side of my mouth to avoid eating on the temporary filling I managed to crack a wisdom tooth and was terrified that I’d need it extracted. My dentist was able to fill both teeth yesterday and said they are quite deep fillings. One had to be built up manually as I gagged when she tried to get the band on. The other filling has pins in and my face is swollen and bruised that side though the tooth doesn’t hurt. I’ve not had bruising after a filling before. What’s the most likely cause? Would it be from the injections or from the drilling given that it’s a deep filling? Just curious really as it hasn’t happened before.

  19. Comment: I had a deep filling last year December and the tooth was so sensitive to cold or hot liquid for over three months after which it stopped being sensitive and I could eat anything I wanted. just last week it started filling sharp pain immediately this tooth comes in contact with water. this time around not cold or hot water but normal tempreture water and the pain lasts for like a minute and stops like it never did hurt me. I really need help cos am scared of even drinking water

    • Pamella, the same thing is happening to me! It’s not every time I drink water, but sometimes when the water hits that tooth I get a sharp pain that lasts about a minute then goes away. It happens maybe twice a week.

      Is this something to be worried about?

  20. I had a filling done 8hours ago and the pain im in is severe what do I do ive taken painkillers and anti-inflammatories and the pain doesnt seem to want to go can this be bad for me

  21. The same thing happened to me. I had a filling done didn’t think much of it and a few days later ended up in severe increasing pain. Ended having to get a root canal which failed for some reason and now after being in pain for months I’m having the tooth pulled. This was a prominent tooth in my mouth. This tooth never bothered me prior to going to the dentist. My dentist never even mentioned the remote possibility of a root canal prior to drilling in my tooth.


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