Sensitivity – Not the Good Kind!

September 4, 2013

sensitivityIn most cases the root cause is a cavity. Possibly, the cavity was there years ago and a filling was placed…now on a delayed basis, there’s sensitivity or pain within the tooth or maybe the cavity has maybe spread further into the pulp chamber.

Typically it’s a cavity, but a blow to a tooth can also cause sensitivity. Recession, gum recession or attrition at the gum line or even cracks in a tooth that are invisible to the naked eye can also be causes of tooth sensitivity.

Then…What is the Solution for Tooth Sensitivity?

As described above, just as there can be several totally different causes for the sensitivity, there is not necessarily a one-stop-solution.

Is a Filling the Best Solution for a Cavity?

Most people believe that a filled tooth should be great for the rest of their life. Unfortunately, that’s just not the real world. There may be several reasons that a filling a cavity will not last forever, but some last much longer than others.

A Little Background…

Although they don’t appear to be, teeth are porous. Everyone’s teeth have dentinal tubules. Even after a filling is completed, bacteria may still find a small in-road to enter…additional tooth decay can then begin almost immediately. The bacteria can also get through one of these tubules and even make contact with the nerve, causing inflammation and possibly an infection. Any of this can cause sensation from sensitivity in the tooth all the way to very sharp or “acute” pain.

How Long Does a Typical Filling Last in a Tooth?

There are several variables that can affect that but I’ve seen fillings that last less than 5 years, while others may last 30 or 40 years. The variables that can affect how long they will last might include the overall health of someone’s mouth and overall, how well a person takes care of their teeth as well as how clean they can keep their teeth is almost always a factor.

However, the tooth sensitivity could also be the result of:

  • the care and precision that a tooth was readied prior to that filling being placed,
  • what material was used in the filling,
  • how well that material was mixed, and
  • very importantly, the skill of the practitioner is also critical.

Sometimes it’s painfully obvious why a filling doesn’t last very long.


For more information about tooth sensitivity, contact Dr. Goad, your Richardson, TX dentist at Richardson Cosmetic Dentistry today.

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