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Post Operative Sensitivity

It can be normal to experience slight discomfort and soreness after dental work has been done, especially around the gum tissue and injections sites. Advil, Aleve or Tylenol work well to alleviate the tenderness. Take this medication as directed.

Anytime a tooth has to be drilled on, it is very irritating to the nerve of the tooth. The nerve responds by becoming inflamed. The most common post-operative symptoms of an inflamed nerve are sensitivity to cold and chewing. While the tooth heals, you should notice the sensitivity getting less frequent and less severe. Generally, with most dental work, after a few weeks, most patients will feel back to normal.

However, occasionally, it can be normal for sensitivity to linger for an extended period of time, after dental work has been completed. Every patient and every tooth is different. If the tooth had extensive decay, or trauma, such as a fracture (crack), increased sensitivity would definitely be expected. Also, if a patient clenches or grinds their teeth, healing can be delayed.

As long as the sensitivity is getting less frequent and less severe, then usually, the tooth or area is healing. If the sensitivity increases in frequency, duration, or intensity, sometimes further treatment may be needed. Symptoms to watch for are sensitivity to hot, swelling of the gums or cheek, a “bubble” to appear on the gums near the tooth, intense pain that wakes you up in the night, or a constant, intolerable ache. If you have any of these symptoms, please call our office, immediately.

We recommend that you avoid chewing in that area of the mouth, and/or maintain a soft diet while healing. Make sure to have excellent home care, especially around the area worked on, brushing at least twice a day, and flossing at least once a day. If you gums are very sore, rinse with diluted salt water or diluted anti-bacterial mouthwash. Take anti-inflammatory medication as directed, if needed, for pain. Unless otherwise instructed, wear a nightguard, if you normally wear one.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call our office at (949) 552-5055. We are happy to advise you or see you in the office, post operatively, for any reason.