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Why Is My Tooth Still Sensitive After a Filling?

Posted by AllSmiles

Closeup of a young woman's twisted mouth from tooth sensitivityMy dentist placed three fillings in my teeth in mid-January. The fillings look fine, but one is still sensitive to cold liquid. I returned to the dentist last month, and she took an x-ray and examined the tooth. She asked me to give it more time. Although the sensitivity is not worse, it is not better. How much time should I give it, and why is the tooth still sensitive? I have dental anxiety and hate the thought of needing a new filling.  – Thanks. Dani


Tooth sensitivity after a dental filling is not unusual, but a dentist must determine why the sensitivity lingers.

Why Is Your Tooth Still Sensitive After a Filling?

Tooth sensitivity after a filling or other dental procedures occurs because the tooth is irritated temporarily. But when sensitivity lingers, one of the factors below may be the cause:

  • Tooth decay. If decay further irritates a tooth after a dental procedure, sensitivity can result. The sensitivity will improve within a few days, but lingering sensitivity can last several months. If your symptoms are worsening or not gradually improving, schedule an appointment with your dentist or get a second opinion.
  • The dental filling technique. Placing white composite fillings is demanding for dentists. The process requires isolating a tooth and keeping it dry. A faulty filling can leak and let bacteria in, causing sensitivity.
  • Pulp infection. Bacteria from tooth decay can get into the dentin beneath the enamel and can cause irritation and sensitivity.
  • Bite adjustment. If the tooth filling is too high, it may become sensitive when you chew or bite down. Your dentist can adjust the filling to correct your bite.
  • A deep cavity. Deep decay requires a dentist to probe into the tooth to remove the decay. Tooth nerves can become irritated and sensitive. The damaged nerve may heal gradually, but the nerve will die if the damage is severe. Often, root canal treatment can save the tooth.


Chandler, Arizona, dentists Dr. William Walden and Dr. Tyrel Beavers sponsor this post. They cater to patients who consider themselves dental cowards.

2425 S Stearman Dr.
Suite 111
Chandler, AZ 85286
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