8615 NE Hazel Dell Avenue,
Vancouver, WA 98665
Don't Wait 'til it Hurts!
need to be carefully examined to make an accurate diagnosis.
Causes include receding gums, decay, bite problems, clenching or
grinding known as bruxing, acid erosion, aggressive bleaching, gum
disease, some toothpastes, and more.
Old fillings can get
sensitive with recurrent decay and processes including corrosion, acid
erosion, and wear that compromise the seal provided by the filling.
Don't wait for sensitivity to advance to a toothache to get an exam
and diagnosis! New fillings can be sensitive for a number of
reasons, including, but not limited to:
Inflammation of the
pulp, which is the soft tissue inside the pulp chamber of a tooth
that contains nerves, blood vessels, and other cells that nourish the
tooth. Simply drilling a tooth to receive a filling can irritate
the pulp, and this is rather common. We use water sprays with
our drills to keep from heating the pulp up.
Removal of decay from
a tooth can increase sensitivity, particularly when the decay is
rather deep. Sometimes we place medicines inside a tooth where
deep decay has penetrated, hoping to soothe the pulp. Sometimes
we will place an indirect pulp cap, best described as a
layer of medicine sealing over an area of decay that is deep enough to
penetrate the pulp chamber, when we would like to give a tooth without
symptoms a chance to get along without root canal treatment.
Possible outcomes for this method include a tooth with sensitivity
that may decline over time, a completely comfortable tooth, or a tooth
that develops a toothache and needs root canal treatment anyway.
The occasional tooth
where a filling is too high, because patients do not always bite in
their normal position after being numb with their mouth open for a
while. Always call for a post-op check if you think something
feels wrong with your bite.
Metal fillings can
cause a "galvanic shock syndrome" if they are placed in the proximity
of fillings or crowns made with dissimilar metals. A mild electronic
shock can occur as you bite together and bring upper and lower teeth
into contact. This is almost always a short-lived situation, but
can be somewhat uncomfortable for a couple of days. The
sensation typically stops as soon as the new metal restoration
develops an oxidation layer on the surface. Sometimes it is
necessary to remove a new restoration and place a "sedative filling"
for a few days to cool things down.
feel that composite fillings are more likely to cause sensitivity, and
theories include conceptual models related to minute contraction of
the filling material as it sets, moisture content of the tooth
structure under the filling, and different methods of sealing the
This is not an
exhaustive treatise on sensitive fillings. Please contact your dentist
to address any sensitivity you experience.
can be caused be gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums, more
advanced breakdown of gums called periodontitis, trauma, and more
unusual conditions including lichen planus, allergies and many more.
Once again, an exam is necessary to provide a diagnosis and treatment