one tooth, one paranoid me
July 18, 2013 7:39 AM   Subscribe

My upper left front tooth had a filling back in late March. The dentist was perplexed as to why I'd have a cavity there-- she said it's a very accessible place (brush 3 times, floss twice a day. Never miss). After the filling the tooth was a tad sensitive for a day and then all was fine. In the last month or so, I some times get a "cold sensation" in the area of that tooth but couldn't pin it down but I think it came from the filled tooth. It just feels like a cold feeling from the inside. Then this morning I got a stronger "cold feeling" in that tooth after taking a sip of warm coffee. Should I go back to the dentist? I am very worried. I don't want this to turn into something worse. In the mean time, just seeing the dentist cost a lot of money.

Some background:

- I inherited my mother's mouthful of dental problems, so I am kind of neurotic about my teeth. I could just be paranoid.

- The filling was in the back of the upper left tooth. When the dentist drilled, it went through a very, very tiny bit-- I couldn't see but I know she polished both the back and the front of the tooth. Could the filling have been leaking?

- The tooth to the right has no trouble. The tooth to the left is an implant.

- I am not sure if I'd call this feeling a "pain" either. It just kind of feels like somebody put mint inside my tooth, if that make sense.
posted by atetrachordofthree to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
Response by poster: also, I have a history of sinus problems if that helps.
posted by atetrachordofthree at 7:42 AM on July 18, 2013

The only way to know for sure is to go to the dentist and get the tooth x-rayed. I had the same thing and it turned out the tooth was dying and I needed a root canal. No big deal.

Or it could be sinus pressure, but you won't know until you have a dentist check it out. Sinuses are sneaky little bastards.
posted by kinetic at 7:44 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

It just kind of feels like somebody put mint inside my tooth, if that make sense.

Sensitive teeth! I haz them. I also have beautiful, perfect teeth (brag, brag, brag) that are so fantastic that when I went to see a new-to-me dentist last month, the hygienist actually called in another hygienist to come and look at how gosh darned pretty my teeth are.

I brought up my concerns about my sensitive teeth, and they poked long and hard at them and checked my x-rays and everything, but nothing is wrong. They're just wusses.

Get some Sensodyne or other wussy-teeth toothpaste and it should get better.

If you're overly concerned, by all means go to the dentist again (or heck, even a new dentist) and have them give you a once over just to check. But I bet you're fine.
posted by phunniemee at 7:45 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Was it a white filling? They can take a few months to fully "calm down." I wouldn't worry too much unless the pain intensifies, in which case a call to your dentist and a visit may be warranted. After having a few fillings turn into abscesses and root canals, I know that any time you have a filling placed it's possible to upset the root, but speaking from experience you will know when this is happening. It won't be just a "hmm, this feels maybe weird?" sort of experience but more of a "holy shit this is the worst thing that's ever happened to me" experience.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:46 AM on July 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: the filling is white, and placed in towards the end of March. So almost 4 months.
posted by atetrachordofthree at 7:48 AM on July 18, 2013

Four months sounds about right for the amount of time it took my last white filling to "calm down". It sounds different from my experience, however in that my weird feelings from the filling started out pretty heavy and then very slowly diminished, such that I never really noticed when they finally went away. If this is a brand new sensation after three months of normalcy, you should call the dentist. It sucks, but better to address it now before it gets worse (and possibly more expensive).
posted by Rock Steady at 7:59 AM on July 18, 2013

Call the dentist who placed the filling, tell them of your symptoms and ask them to look to re-evaluate the tooth. go from there. cold temperature sensitivity is usually a sign of a hyper-aware nerve inside the tooth, so it bears a second look.
posted by OHenryPacey at 8:52 AM on July 18, 2013

I once had a filling that somehow developed an air pocket between the tooth and the filling. It was sensitive when I first got it, then got more so, then I had the dentist take a look and he had to pop it out and replace it with a new filling that fit better. YMMV. No harm in having it looked at.
posted by epanalepsis at 12:14 PM on July 18, 2013

I have a filling where the tooth suddenly became slightly sensitive to cold recently. It sounds just like your description. It was like that for about six weeks and then the filling randomly fell out. The dentist said the cold sensitivity in hindsight was a sign the filling was loose.
posted by lollusc at 6:42 AM on July 19, 2013

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