If you have a cavity in your tooth, having it filled will keep the decay from spreading. While fillings are a common dental procedure, it's still common to approach the procedure with a little apprehension. Many patients wonder what's normal and what's not after they have a cavity filled. Read on to find out!
Some sensitivity to heat and cold: normal.
Especially if your cavity was quite deep, the drilling process can set the nerves "on high alert" for a while after you have the cavity filled. You might have some discomfort or sensitivity when eating or drinking very hot or cold items. This should wear off within a few weeks. In the meantime, stick to lukewarm foods and drinks, and use a sensitivity toothpaste to help battle the discomfort.
Outright pain: not normal.
A little jaw aching right after the procedure is nothing to be concerned about, as it's probably just due to holding your mouth open for the dentist to work. But if you have any outright pain, whether it feel sharp, seriously aching, or shooting, contact your dentist. You may have been allergic or sensitive to a material used during the filling process, or the decay might be more extensive than your dentist initially realized.
A strange taste in your mouth: normal.
Don't worry if your mouth tastes bitter, sour, or a bit metallic. You're just tasting the antiseptic solution, filler agent, or numbing agent your dentist used, and the taste should fade soon. Sipping some water will help.
Feeling like you can't bite down properly: not normal.
When your dentist is finished applying the filling, he or she will use a special file to shape it so that you can bite down normally. If the filling is left a little to "high" and is not filed down properly (which happens occasionally since it can be hard for your dentist to get a perfect idea of your bite when your mouth is numb), you may feel like the filling is preventing you from biting down properly. Luckily, your dentist can easily fix this by re-filing the filling, so call him or her promptly.
If you experience anything else abnormal or concerning after having your tooth filled, don't be afraid to call your dental office and ask about it. Part of their job is dealing with concerns like this, and you're always better off safe than sorry when it comes to your oral health.