Why does it hurt when I bite down after a filling?

After a filling you might notice that your bite feels differently than it did before your dental appointment.  Your dentist will check your bite at the end of your procedure but most of the time you are numb and can’t tell what feels “normal”.  Once the numbness wears off, you might notice a change in your bite.

Over time, it might hurt to bite down, give you a zing, or you might notice cold sensitivity.  This is common.  Most likely your new filling is taller than your teeth are used to and needs to be adjusted.  The topography of your tooth before and after the filling will never be exactly the same.  Some people have a higher acuity for this change.

If this is the case for you, you’ll want to call your dental office.  Your dentist will adjust your bite on that tooth and symptoms should resolve.  Your dentist will use marking paper to identify which area to adjust.  Depending on how long you were going around with this filling being high, it takes about 10-14 days for full resolution of symptoms.

 

filling, adjust filling, occlusion, bite check, articulating paper

 

But why does your tooth then have cold sensitivity when your bite is high? There is a ligament that holds the tooth in the socket.  When your filling is high, the tooth is getting hit sooner than it is used to and the ligament gets sore.  This pain is transmitted as cold sensitivity.  Relieving the tooth will eliminate the pain.

I like the analogy of having a rock in your shoe.  At first you notice but it’s not troublesome.  The more you walk, the more you notice the rock and it becomes irritating.  Eventually it will cause you to form a blister, bleed, and hurt.  When you remove the rock at this point, your foot will still hurt because of the initial insult.  A few days later the area of trauma will heal and you’ll be walking back to normal.  Makes sense right?

 

 

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