Tooth Sensitivity After Fillings

It is very normal and expected to experience tooth sensitivity and even some swelling after a dental filling procedure. Your dentist may have used more than one form of anesthesia to ensure you were comfortable during the cavity removal treatment. Once your dentist is finished, you may experience numbness and even accidentally bite your lip or tongue causing some additional swelling. To reduce the tooth sensitivity, limit swelling and encourage healing, there are some important aftercare steps you can take.

  1.  You should try to enjoy blander foods and drinks. Drinks that are too icy or foods that are served hot out of the oven may cause too much discomfort to your recently worked on tooth. You may even want to avoid foods that are high in acid, like white wine or lemon sauces, and foods that are
    spicy, like hot sauces. The food adjustment may only need to last one to two days or up to two weeks before the sensitivity subsides and you can get back to ice cold orange juice.
  2. Additionally, your food should be softer and easy to chew. Raw vegetables and nuts may create too much pressure when chewing and cause sensitivity. Try to limit crunching on ice cubes or croutons immediately following your dental filling. And while yogurt may seem like a natural
    solution to softer foods, you may find the acidity in yogurt to cause just as much sensitivity as a hard food.
  3. When drinking your room temperature drinks, limit the use of straws. The sucking action can cause the tooth sensitivity to persist longer than necessary.
  4. You should monitor the intensity of sensitivity and the swelling in the days after your dentist does your filling. If over the course of two or more days the sensitivity does not go down or the swelling does not subside, follow up with your dentist.
  5. The day of your dental filling you should restrict your physical activities. Allowing your body to rest and recuperate will encourage swelling and sensitivity to taper off a faster rate than if you should try to compete in a triathlon.
  6. Using ice packs on the side of the mouth of the new filling to help reduce swelling. The ice packs can be used for 15 minutes at a time and will decrease the swelling.
  7. Over the counter pain medication can be helpful to help decrease the pain and swelling. Medications like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen are great to reduce acute tooth sensitivity. Be sure to talk to your dentist before using any medication after your dental filling.


Finally, you may find you are someone who has more tooth sensitivity in general regardless of when you have your dentist repair your cavity with a filling. The best ways to help your long term tooth sensitivity are with a desensitizing toothpaste, a gentle toothbrush and a soft dental floss. Practicing dental habits with these tools will help decrease your chances of having to see the dentist again for another cavity treatment. What’s more, you can talk with your dentist about preventative sealants for your at risk teeth.

More About Dental Fillings : Types of Dental Tooth Fillings