You may think that once you have that cavity in your tooth filled, all the discomfort and pain will be instantly gone. However, that might not be entirely the case. Whether you get fillings in just one or multiple teeth, some level of sensitivity and tooth pain may linger for hours or even days, making it uncomfortable to eat or drink. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize the discomfort. This involves following certain post-filling chewing and food tips.
Close Your Mouth While Chewing – Does even slightly cooler air hitting your teeth cause pain? Some people have extremely sensitive teeth, to the point that even the air can become a hostile entity after having a filling. If so, the simple act of keeping your mouth closed while chewing food may help tremendously. Besides the reduction of pain, it’s also more polite!
Avoid Sticky Foods – Although sticky foods might not directly be the source of tooth pain after getting a filling, certain types of fillings, especially amalgam (silver) fillings, may take some time to properly set after you leave your dentist. If you eat gummy or sticky foods, such as peanut butter or chewing gum, it might dislodge that new filling. Try to avoid these kinds of foods temporarily.
Bite Lightly, Chew Slowly – Biting down hard on food can place a lot of pressure on the teeth. With teeth that are sensitive after having a filling put in, this may cause pain. As you chew the food, try not to chew so hard that your teeth make contact, as this may also cause discomfort. If it’s painful, try chewing on the opposite side of the mouth from where you had the filling.
Eliminate Sweets – Soft drinks and other sugar-filled foods can at times trigger tooth sensitivity, and these food types also invite bacterial grown. At times, bacteria may even grow underneath the new filling, which can lead to further problems.
Steer Clear of Hard Foods – Think of your tooth (or teeth) as being in “recovery mode” after fillings are put in. They need some recovery time, so it’s best not to chew on hard candy, nuts, ice or any other food that puts too much pressure on the teeth. If you bite too roughly into a hard piece of food, it might even disturb a fresh filling that hasn’t correctly set. Silver filling take longer to set than tooth-colored composite fillings, so if you have that kind of filling, be especially careful.
Don’t Drink Very Cold or Very Hot Drinks – Extreme cold and extreme heat may both cause pain in especially sensitive teeth after fillings. Stick to beverages at moderate temperatures.
Following these easy guidelines can greatly reduce any pain and discomfort in your teeth after you’ve been to the dentist’s office for a filling. Depending upon what type of fillings you get, your dentist will also give you specific instructions as to how long you should wait before eating solid foods and what foods to avoid.
If pain or sensitivity persists for more than a few weeks and doesn’t seem to be decreasing, you should call your dentist to schedule an appointment to have the new fillings examined. They may be able to make a simple adjustment. They’ll also let you know if it’s a more serious problem that needs to be addressed.