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Is Tooth Sensitivity after Filling or Crown Treatment Common?

By Bruce Wilderman on August 07, 2016

An illustration of a tooth with tooth-colored fillingIt's not entirely uncommon to experience some tooth sensitivity after dental filling or crown treatment. What is uncommon is for tooth sensitivity to persist for weeks, or months, after treatment. In such cases, tooth sensitivity may be an indication of an underlying issue. General dentistry treatments can help address tooth sensitivity and protect oral health. If you experience tooth sensitivity after filling or crown treatment, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Philadelphia, PA dentist Bruce Wilderman to enjoy relief from tooth sensitivity.

The Causes of Tooth Sensitivity after a Filling

After receiving a dental filling, some patients may experience increased dental sensitivity. When drinking ice-cold beverages or eating hot food causes sharp, sudden pain in a tooth with a filling weeks after treatment, it's important to undergo a dental exam to ensure there are no underlying dental health issues that need to be addressed. When dental sensitivity continues after filling treatment, it may be a sign of one or more of the following issues:

  • Filling interfering with bite: A filling may cause tooth sensitivity if it interferes with the bite. Fillings that cause bite misalignment will need to be reshaped by a dentist to alleviate sensitivity.
  • Root canal infection: Sometimes tooth sensitivity after a filling is an indication of serious dental damage, including nerve damage or a root canal infection. Root canal infections are extremely painful and occur when bacteria infects the pulp tissues, nerves, and blood vessels of the teeth. A root canal infection must be diagnosed by a dentist and requires professional treatment to restore oral health.
  • Cracks or gaps around filling: A poorly fitting filling may also cause increased tooth sensitivity after treatment. When cracks or gaps are present around a filling, bacteria and temperature changes can reach the nerves of the teeth, causing dental sensitivity.
  • Allergies: Although not common, allergies to silver amalgam fillings can cause different reactions, including tooth sensitivity, pain, and itchy skin.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity after a Crown

After dental crown placement, some patients may feel increased tooth sensitivity. Generally, any tooth sensitivity felt after crown placement will lessen as the mouth adjusts to the new crown. However, in some cases, sensitivity may persist. In such cases, tooth sensitivity may be caused by:

  • Problems with the underlying tooth: In some cases, tooth sensitivity after a dental crown is due to the underlying tooth. Increased sensitivity can be affected by how the crown sits on the underlying tooth and the tooth's nerve.
  • Crown interfering with bite: A dental crown that sits too high can interfere with a person's bite, causing pain and tooth sensitivity.
  • Root exposure: In order to place a dental crown, some portions of the gums may be removed. This can lead to root exposure, which can increase tooth sensitivity. Root exposure may also occur due to gum recession.
  • Referred pain: Tooth sensitivity may also come from an adjacent tooth, called referred pain, and not from the tooth treated with a crown.

Seek Treatment Today

Don't let tooth sensitivity keep you in pain. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Wilderman to discover your treatment options.

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