Pain Around Fillings:
There are several explanations for pain around fillings, each resulting from a different cause.
- Pain when you bite or touch your teeth together. This type of pain occurs when you bite down. The pain is noticed soon after the anesthesia wears off and continues over time. In this case, the filling may be interfering with your bite. You will need to return to your dentist and have the filling reshaped. If the pain still continues, it may indicate a further problem that requires additional treatment such as root canal therapy.
- Pain to hot or cold. This pain is a very sharp pain that occurs only when your teeth touch something hot or cold; the pain goes away in a few seconds when the hot or cold is removed. If this pain lingers on for a long time even after the hot or cold is removed, it may indicate irreversible damage to the nerve and you should contact your dentist.
- “Toothache-type” constant throbbing pain. If the decay was very deep to the pulp of the tooth, this toothache response may indicate this tissue is no longer healthy. If this is the case, root canal treatment may be required.
- Referred pain. This is pain or sensitivity in other teeth besides the one that received the filling. With this particular pain, there is likely nothing wrong with your teeth. The filled tooth is simply passing along “pain signals” it is receiving to other teeth. This pain should decrease on its own over one to two weeks.
Allergic Reactions to Amalgam (Silver) Fillings
Allergic reactions to silver fillings are rare. Fewer than 100 cases have ever been reported, according to the American Dental Association. In these rare circumstances, mercury or one of the metals used in an amalgam restoration is thought to trigger an allergic response. Symptoms of amalgam allergy are similar to those experienced in a typical skin allergy and include skin rashes and itching. Patients who suffer amalgam allergies typically have a medical or family history of allergies to metals. Once an allergy is confirmed, another restorative material can be used.
Constant pressure from chewing, grinding, or clenching can cause dental fillings to wear away, chip, or crack. Although you may not be able to tell that your filling is wearing down, your dentist can identify weaknesses in your restorations during a regular check-up.
If the seal between the tooth enamel and the filling breaks down, food particles and decay-causing bacteria can work their way under the filling. You then run the risk of developing additional decay in that tooth. Decay that is left untreated can progress to infect the dental pulp and may cause an abscessed tooth.
If the filling is large or the recurrent decay is extensive, there may not be enough tooth structure remaining to support a replacement filling. In these cases, your dentist may need to replace the filling with a crown.