Post-Filling Tooth Pain

A man walking in the city and talking on the phone.

Filling a cavity is supposed to stop tooth pain, right? But what if you are still experiencing sensitivity after your treatment? Sensitivity is a common side effect of dental fillings that typically alleviates quickly after the procedure.

Extreme discomfort is not normal and needs to be addressed by a dental professional promptly. Call your dental provider immediately if you are experiencing severe pain accompanied by fever or swelling after a dental filling treatment. 

Dental Fillings 101

Dental fillings are one of the most common procedures in dentistry. In this routine treatment, the dentist will inject an anesthetic near the tooth to numb the area. Then, the dentist will use a dental drill to remove any decay present in the area and fill in the carved-out space with a dental restoration material. Fillings can be made of gold, porcelain, amalgam (silver), or tooth-colored composite resin depending on the patient’s budget and aesthetic desires.

Sensitivity After a Filling

It is common for patients to experience some sensitivity in the area once the anesthetic that was applied before the filling wears off. The sensation is typically described as a sudden rush of pain or cold that subsides quickly. Certain environmental factors are known to trigger or heighten the tooth’s sensitivity.

Common Tooth Sensitivity Triggers

  • Hot, cold, acidic, or sugary foods and beverages
  • Cold air or wind
  • Pressure from biting down or eating

Severe pain is not a typical side effect of dental fillings. If your pain is interfering with your daily life, do not suffer silently. Your pain could be a symptom of a serious condition that needs to be addressed by a dental professional.

Although uncommon, extreme discomfort after a filling could be an indication of the following conditions: 

Irritated Nerve 

A nerve resides in each root of a tooth (unless you had a root canal treatment, which removes the nerves from an infected tooth). Tooth nerves are protected by the hard outer layers of the tooth. However, it is possible for tooth nerves to become irritated or inflamed during filling treatments. This sensitivity will subside as the nerve heals from the trauma. It can take a few days or weeks before the nerve returns completely back to normal.

Incorrect Bite Alignment 

Although dentists do their best to make the filling mimic the patient’s natural tooth structure, sometimes the restoration is slightly taller. This extra height isn’t obvious to the naked eye but is significant enough to put additional pressure on the teeth when biting down. The sensitivity caused by the changed bite alignment is typically more intense than general post-filling discomfort.

Patients who are experiencing discomfort while biting down or chewing should contact their dental provider to have their bite examined. Shaving down the high point of the filling alleviates pain for most patients.


Pulpitis is a condition that causes inflammation deep within the pulp of a tooth. Although pulpitis rarely occurs after a routine filling, it can happen. A root canal or tooth extraction are common treatments for this condition.

Pulpitis typically occurs when:

  • The tooth is severely damaged from trauma
  • The cavity spread to the inner pulp
  • The tooth has had multiple restorative treatment

Allergic Reaction

On rare occasions, patients have allergic reactions to filling material. One study found that amalgam material is the most common cause of allergic reactions from fillings. However, patients can react to other materials used in the treatment, such as the latex in the dentist’s gloves.

When to Call Your Dentists

Mild sensitivity a few days after a filling treatment is very common. You can often alleviate minor discomfort with over-the-counter medication, home remedies, or desensitizing toothpaste. If your pain interferes with your daily routine, contact your dental provider immediately for guidance.

Posted on behalf of Majestic Smiles Studio

17300 Yorba Linda Blvd Suite B
Yorba Linda, CA 92886

Phone: (714) 996-2255


Monday & Wednesday - 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday & Thursday - 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Skip footer

Our Patient Reviews

By far THE best dentist I have ever been to! Dr. Maria Gutierrez is brilliant at what she does. Her professionalism, efficiency, and grace is amazing. Dr. Gutierrez, her dental assistant Veronica and the office manager Nicole made me feel completely comfortable and taken care of. It is very obvious that the staff there truly cares for their patients. Besides the amazing customer service, their work is PERFECT! my teeth are shining like never before and look marvelous. If you have ever had any questions about visiting this business, hesitate no longer! Thank you SO MUCH!!!!
Sina S.
Dr. Gutierrez was amazing, not only has she been my dentist, but my son as well. You feel at ease because she’s so confident in how she explains treatment that you don’t feel confused. She is gentle and kind. Great team!
Claudia M.
The best dentist I've ever been to, this place is awesome ! As everyone knows, going to a dental office typically isn't a celebratory and pleasant event! However, my experience here changed my outlook on dentistry for the better. Nicole the office manager was very kind and set the appointment for me even though I had to be back to my office by 9 AM and I needed to have an appointment closer to 7 AM, she moved things around and accommodate me and promised I won’t be late to work. Veronica(who administered the X-rays and assisted Dr. Gutierrez) was thorough, kind, and very knowledgeable, which was a great start. Then Dr. Gutierrez came in to conduct the examination and assess what work needed to be performed. The sincerity she exhibited for my well being was admirable and her exceptional skill became immediately evident. I've been to several of the top dentists in Southern California, and this was by far the most impressive experience. Their price point was reasonable, the building was quite nice, and the level of care is top notch. In addition, the hygienist Stephanie was fantastic. She approached your cleaning with the perfect balance of gentleness and rigorousness. The photo studio for before and after pictures was very useful for me to see the huge difference. If you need a new dentist, this is the place. They've gained a lifelong patient in me! I hate going to the dentist. Not because I'm scared, but because I despise mouth and dental related pains. I don’t have high tolerance for pain, dental pain for whatever reason is 10 times more, but I did full sets of veneers and didn’t feel any pain! I highly recommend Majestic Smile Studio and Dr. Gutierrez and her team.
Nima S.


17300 Yorba Linda Blvd Suite B
Yorba Linda, CA 92886

Opening Hours

Monday & Wednesday - 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday & Thursday - 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Follow Us