Pain after dental restorations is completely normal. In rare cases, it can signify an underlying infection.
You may have just gotten some dental work done that was meant to sort out an issue and subsequently ease pain. The irony is that you may actually experience some pain after the procedure has been completed. This can last anything from a few hours to a few days. Not to worry, this pain is usually completely normal and can be due to a variety of reasons.
Reasons for Pain
Open Mouth: Remember, your mouth may have been open for quite some time during the procedure which could lead to some mild pain which can last up to a few days. This pain usually occurs on the jaw joint and can be felt particularly when opening and closing your mouth.
Pressure: If you received a white filling, you may experience a little more irritation than you do with a silver filling. The process used to affix and harden white fillings (dental glue and UV light treatment) results in shrinkage of the composite filling material. This can cause a sensation of pressure in your tooth along with sensitivity when you bite down. The problem usually solves itself within a few weeks.
Swelling: Swelling after dental procedures is extremely common and should in fact, be expected. This happens when your body sends extra blood to any injured area to help accelerate healing. You can ease the swelling and pain by using an ice pack – try a bag of frozen peas or corn as it will shape better to your face. If the swelling persists or worsens after 3 days and/or are in pain, you may have an infection and should contact your dentist.
Trismus: If you have had a dental crown, or any other dental procedure for that matter, you may find that you experience a symptom called Trismus, or lock jaw. This is stiffness in the jaw muscles, rather than the jaw bone. If your lower teeth were prepared for a crown and you received an injection, then you are most likely experiencing trismus. Trismus is a muscle injury as a result of the injection path of the needle. Not to worry though, in a few days it should completely subside and you will have made a full recovery.
What Can You Do?
It should be noted that some degree of pain after a dental crown is completely normal. Use your discretion when it comes to treating this pain at home. You can take some over-the-counter pain medication to ease any discomfort (consult your healthcare practitioner if you have any questions regarding certain medications). You can also use an ice pack which will help ease swelling as well as the added bonus of having a numbing effect on the area. When in doubt, the age-old method of simply sleeping it off often proves incredibly effective.
When to Call the Dentist
There comes a point where coping with the pain at home may be unbearable and it is in your best interest to give your dentist a call. Though pain after dental procedures is normal, if your pain is lasting more than a few days or is unbearable, it is best to contact your dentist for advice and possibly, further treatment. Likewise, if your pain is coupled by any foul odours, excessive bleeding or excessive oozing, your dentist should be notified as this could be sign of an infection.
Use your discretion when it comes to managing pain after your dental crown. If you have some pain you are concerned about the team at City Smiles are here to help, contact our team today.