Why can my teeth hurt after a filling

If you have a cavity filled and still have a toothache afterwards, there are many reasons. One thing is for sure, something needs to be done – read about the possible causes of toothache after a filling and what you should do!

I will tell you that you need to be patient for a few days, or go back to the dentist straight away, you may need a root canal to save the tooth, or you may just have a high filling – this will help you decide whether to see your dentist again. The important thing is to stop suffering!

I went to the dentist yesterday! It’s not worth having a toothache again!

Are you in the same shoes? Anger, frustration and incomprehension can accompany a “pleasant” half-hour at the dentist, followed by a toothache in the evening or the next day in the affected area. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to alleviate the anger through this blog, but perhaps some information on what might be behind the toothache might help to dampen the frustration.

A dental filling is good if you are unaware of its existence, while it performs all the functions you would expect from healthy dental tissue.

To understand the possible causes of toothache after a filling, we need to start with tooth decay. The essence of dental caries is that the tissues of the tooth soften and decay. As long as this process is in the tooth enamel, it may be reversible, but once it reaches the dentin, the tissue will surely loosen. During a dental filling, the dentist removes the softened dentin and decayed enamel. Depending on the amount of tissue removed, a smaller or larger cavity is formed, which will be refilled with the filling material.

The bottom of the cavity is very important. The closer the cavity is to the nerve chamber in the central axis of the tooth, the more sensitive the tooth is to the procedure and the greater the risk of post-filling pain.

I have listed the most common causes of toothache after filling and the most common types of toothache

Post-filling tooth pain, more like sensitivity, which slowly decreases but gets better:

If the decay has gone deep, meaning that a large amount of tooth tissue has fallen apart, the bottom of the cavity formed for the filling is very close to the nerve chamber of the tooth. In this case, a so-called sub-lining is placed under the filling, which helps the tooth to better withstand the great trauma to the tooth. However, a large “tooth wound” takes time to heal, and the tooth may be sensitive for a few days before gradually settling down.

No panic! Trust that you have taken your tooth to the dentist in time and give the process some time.

If you still feel it after 2 weeks, go back for a check-up.

If it’s improved but not the same, ask for an x-ray check in about 6-8 weeks.

If it’s sensitive to cold, but briefly cavities, otherwise nothing wrong, that’s best, the tooth is alive, just a little bit choppy, it will settle down.

You can always ask the dentist, you will certainly find acceptance and empathy here too! – And with the use of special nanotechnology dental filling material, we can fill the tooth in almost all cases without after-pain. Listen to the video!

Filling teeth the way you like it!

Post-filling toothache, with increasing pain and discharge:

In cases of extensive, deep cavities, if the dentist sees even a small chance of healing, i.e. the tooth surviving, he or she will try a dental filling. But unfortunately, this does not always arrive in time. If the decay has been present for a long time and affects the tissues very deeply, the tooth may decide not to survive despite a filling. In this case, the pain may increase after the filling, and then the tooth may develop an inflammation of the dental nerve. Tooth nerve inflammation is the most inevitable toothache. It intensifies in the evening, often radiating out so that the patient can no longer tell which tooth hurts.


In the meantime, get painkillers, at least over-the-counter products.

Do not be fooled if it improves in the morning but becomes unbearable again in the evening.

Unfortunately, that’s the way it is with gingivitis.

Let’s go back anyway!

The therapy is root canal therapy.

Yes, it’s bad news, but the sooner we get treatment, the less chance of a strong infection in the tooth so, although root canal is treated, there’s still a good chance our tooth will stay in our mouth. I write about painless root canal treatment here.

Toothache after a filling, which is sometimes duller, sometimes stronger, and then painful when biting down or warm:

In cases of large cavities, bacteria may have already entered the tooth’s nerve chamber, leading to tooth decay. The necrosis of the dental nerve can occur slowly, with almost no symptoms. The most common symptoms are dull aching, pain or sensitivity to biting or hot drinks. In this case, it is very important that the dentist can check the teeth from time to time by X-ray, because after the tooth has died, inflammation develops in the bone, which can be detected by X-ray.

Suggestion: in case of very deep fillings, if an unpleasant, occasional dull pain remains, make an appointment for an X-ray after 6 weeks.

Be aware of this!

Don’t get carried away, don’t bury your head in the sand. It only hurts sometimes, sometimes nothing for weeks, then something again. It’s not okay! In such cases, the tooth should be checked and if the symptoms are visible on the X-ray, the tooth should be root canal treated. In such cases, root canal treatment is the only way to avoid more serious complications, such as tooth extraction or the spread of inflammation to the bone.

Toothache after a filling, which is a sharp pain or tenderness at a certain point, mainly when biting, otherwise asymptomatic:

The therapy for deep caries is dental filling. The filling, if made of white aesthetic filling material, is slightly shrinkable due to its technique. This phenomenon is known in dentistry as shrinkage stress. This “stress” can cause sensitivity in the tooth, which is slow to go away, but it does!

Suggestion: make an appointment for a check-up in 2-3 weeks.

The dentist will check if the tooth is alive. If it is, he will most often suggest patience and indeed, the sensitivity will slowly diminish. Less frequently, a filling change may be considered, possibly with the choice of different filling material.

It is worth knowing! One way of alleviating or avoiding shrinkage stress is for the dentist to carry out the filling technique using a specially designed method. One such option is the use of SDR dental filling material, which can help to minimise shrinkage stress and the development of ‘normal’ after-pain following aesthetic tooth filling. At Budapest Dental, we have been using the SDR technique for fillings since 2010, which has significantly reduced the number of patients returning with after-ache.

Post-filling tooth pain, mainly when biting down, due to higher fillings:

99.9% of our patients are anaesthetised at the time of filling. The surface of the filling must therefore be adjusted under anaesthesia. Biting with the mouth anaesthetised, especially when the patient has been lying in the dental chair for half an hour with the mouth open, is not an easy task – for the patient or the dentist.

In some cases, the grooves and cusps of the tooth surface may not be properly formed immediately after the filling, and the filling may be “high”.

If the filling is high, you should return to the dentist as soon as possible and have it adjusted without anaesthetic. A high filling is not good for the tooth, the periodontium or even the jaw joint.

Suggestion: Back to the dentist for filling adjustment, and bite check.

It could prevent up to a month of unnecessary suffering.

Would you like to know more about your dental health?

Subscribe to Budapest Dental’s newsletter to receive first-hand information about new articles in our dental magazine!

Other articles...

Order of tooth changes

Pus on tooth or tooth sac

Painful blisters on the tongue and oral mucosa

“The first dental surgery
I go to without fear!”