There can be numerous reasons for a patient to have pain after getting dental filling. The reasons for having tooth pain after dental filling can vary from high dental filling for various other reasons. These can reasons for having pain after dental filling are discussed as under.

Tooth Pain due to High Dental Filling

The toothache could be a result of the high dental filling. The periodontal ligament is what supports the tooth by means of binding it to the bone.  When the filling is too high, the tooth gets compressed downwards and is subjected to a lot more pressure. This goes on to make the ligaments tender.


When the tissues in our body are put through stress they tend to get tender. If you work in the hot sun in the garden for a long time then your hands are bound to have strained ligaments and tissues. The extra blood that gets pumped into your hand will allow it to heal the strained ligaments and this makes them appear red and swollen. This is the exact thing that is experienced by the periodontal ligament when it gets compressed much more than usual due to a high filling. The terminology used for these medical phenomena is Symptomatic Apical Periodontitis or Acute Apical Periodontitis.

When the periodontal ligament widens and gets larger it tends to become red and inflamed.  That creates pain when you have a high filling.

Stopping Pain Caused by Symptomatic Apical Periodontitis

If you want to go ahead and stop the pain, then what you need to do is to remove the thing that causes pain. The moment you feel any kind of pain in your tooth the first thing that you should think of is calling the dentist.  If you find that the pain persists then you need to ask your dentist to check the bite. This will allow you to be able to ensure that the filling is of the right size. If not then the filling will be ground down to the right size.

How long will the pain after filling will persist?

The first thing that the dentist needs to do is to size the filling and in order to do that they need to ground it down. Thereafter, the periodontal ligament will need some time to heal itself from the trauma that it has undergone.

The healing process usually takes about two weeks. After two weeks if the pain still persists then you do need to visit the dentist as this is a clear sign of something being wrong with your teeth. Then, the dentist needs to further ascertain and find out.

There are several folks who might have Symptomatic Apical Periodontitis because of the filling being too high. This is when they need to go back to the dentist and have it set right. Once the filling is the right size they will certainly have no pain and feel better.

There are people who hold back from calling their dentist. However, if you are not comfortable with the filling or need it to be re-sized then you need not feel embarrassed about voicing it to them.

Tooth hurts after a White filling or Composite Dental Filling

The first thing that is noticeable is that the filling should fit just right and your tooth shouldn’t hurt. If the pain persists then you need to go to the dentist and find out the reasons. The white filling can result in pain in the tooth for several reasons which are:

Polymerization Shrinkage of a Composite or White Dental Filling

Composites or white fillings tend to shrink a wee bit when they harden.  That is the reason why the dentist will place the material into the cavity in a liquid or pasty form. Then they will use a strong light like LED or Halogen which will help to immediately harden the material.  Now, in case the composite material is not placed correctly in the tooth and especially in the case of a composite filling then it will shrink to result in a gap that goes on to form around the filling. It could even pull the tooth together.  This will further result in the tooth becoming sensitive to hot and cold.

What if the Composite used is way too large?

The way composite fillings work is to be really good materials for small fillings. The moment the filling becomes larger, such as 1/3 the distance, between the cusps or more than 2 surfaces it is not strong enough.

Composite material is not made to be strong enough to work like tooth structure.  If a composite is used for the large filling then it will result in the tooth bending, the composite will wear off or have a fracture, and finally it will result in a failure of the filling treatment.  This in turn will require further treatment that is of a longer duration.  

How to Increase the Life of Dental Filling

There are a few kinds of fillings that can last for a real long time. However, usually an amalgam filling has a lifespan of about 12 years and that of a composite filling is less than that.

The first visit to a dentist will entail a thorough examination of your fillings. This is usually done at every checkup visit. In case the dentist suspects a crack, leak or something amiss in the filling then you might be advised an X-ray.

When is it the right time to visit the dentist?

  • Sensitivity in the tooth
  • A crack in the tooth
  • The filling has fallen off

A good idea is to go to a dentist frequently for cleanings, brush with a fluoride toothpaste, and floss once a day to ensure that you are able to increase the lifespan of your fillings.

In case of several fillings or very large fillings, your dentist may recommend that you go ahead and use a fluoride gel. The fluoride gel when used at home will enable in strengthening the teeth enamel. This will serve as a safety net for you against any future cavities. There is another way to protect your teeth and that is with the application of fluoride varnish around the edges of these teeth at your dental checkups.

Replacing a Filling

When you need to have a filling replaced the first thing is the discussion with the dentist about the possible treatment options that are available to you and their outcomes. You can go on and let the dentist evaluate the cavity and what kind of filling it will need. Also, you will be able to discuss the right material for your kind of filling.

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  • My aching jaw

    My aching jaw 05 - May - 2015, at 15:52 PM

  • Had the filling in my next to last right lower fall out so I had it replaced yesterday. The dentist did some sanding and painted the surface with something before putting in a new white filling. It was not hurting before I went to the dentist. Started hurting while the dentist was doing the sanding, and now my jaw is hurting. Pain seems to subside some when I apply pressure to my jaw in the spot where the tooth is located. Any suggestions what might be going on?? Recommendations about what I should do??

  • Bhiya

    Bhiya 20 - January - 2015, at 12:20 PM

  • Hi , I had cavities in right lower molar teeth , my dentist filled them but even during filling I was experiencing pain. Now it has been 5 days but still I can't eat comfortably from rt side .... N after eating I get pain .. I went to dentist for bite adjustment he checked n he sad it's normal ... So plz tell me a is it I get a constant diffuse mild pain ...,??that is more wd eating n if it's normal how long I hv to wait... N should I start any painkillers

  • milton

    milton 16 - January - 2015, at 09:52 AM

  • I had an exam in october 2014. The dentist at this clinic said I needed 4 fillings ans 2 root canals. They did not do root canals, so she wanted to do 6 extractions! I disagreed! so I asked for another dentist! I asked them to just do the fillings and I would go elswhere for the root canals, which i did and had no problems with the root canals elsewhere. I returned to a diffrent dentist at the clinic and she wanted to justify the first dentist opinions. I argued with her and the supervisor told her to just do fillings for me. She filled the wrong tooth #15, 15 was not on the list for fillings! there was no decay on the xray for #15! After her filling: I now have a numb or burning sensation from #15 going up my cheek to my eyes! It is now 10 days and this numb or burning sensation has not gone away! I think she deliberately drilled into a root! How do I tell if this is tempory? should I have an exam from another dentist? Should I go back to the dentist who did this painful filling? Is this malpractice? How should I proceed?

  • Shelly

    Shelly 01 - June - 2014, at 08:31 AM

  • I had a root canal done years ago & recently it broke. The dentist was going to extract the tooth but then decided to save it by refilling. I had no pain before but a day after I started experiencing a throbbing pain. Its effecting the whole one side & I can't chew on it.

  • sandra

    sandra 19 - February - 2014, at 18:25 PM

  • Hi i had my filling done about 4 months ago. Did not feel any pain until tooth was fixed. I went back several times and had it ex rayed, but dentist saw nothing wrong. Bite is good. But now he wants to perform root canal?!?! I contacted another dentist who said not to do that. I cant afford another exray, exam... how to fix this problem, pls help!!!!!

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