I Have Jaw Pain After Filling — Is it Normal?

Picture this: you had a bad case of a cavity, you went to the dentist, underwent the dental filling procedure, and now you want to relax while your dental health returns to normal — only to realize your jaw hurts! Jaw pain after filling is not a rare phenomenon. Slight discomfort after dental work is usually expected, especially since you have to keep your mouth open during most treatments. So, what might be responsible for a painful jaw following cavity filling? Keep reading to learn!

Here is What to Expect After a Cavity Filling

Advanced tooth decay leads to the formation of a cavity, which looks like pits and holes in your teeth. Tooth decay requires instant dental attention, and it will keep spreading until you receive the required treatment. With cavities, dentists usually recommend a dental filling procedure, which involves removing the decayed area. Once the damaged area is removed, the dentist will fill the empty space with the filling material and seal the tooth.

Dental fillings help restore your tooth to a remarkable extent, repairing the damage that results from advanced decay. Though your discomfort and problem will go away with cavity filling, you still might experience slight sensitivity. Plus, your gums might become inflamed. However, if your symptoms become worse or you have prolonged tooth pain following the dental filling, you will need to visit the dentist soon. This could mean a severe cavity, which often requires a root canal procedure.

Why Do I Have Jaw Pain After Filling?

You might have jaw pain after dental filling due to a number of reasons. Sensitivity in the tooth and minor pain are normal after the procedure, but a painful jaw also appears in some cases. The reason your jaw hurts could be that you keep your mouth open during the treatment, which leads to stiffness and pain in the jaw. Furthermore, opening your jaw could become a challenging task, and this is also called a stuck jaw or jaw lock.

In simple terms, jaw pain after tooth filling is pretty normal. The strain and pressure on your jaw due to the procedure could be behind the jaw pain. If you have unbearable or prolonged pain, your dental specialist will need to have a look at it.

Tips to Eliminate Jaw Pain After Filling

If your jaw pain after filling is due to normal causes, the pain will resolve on its own. Some people have a low pain tolerance and might want to get rid of the jaw pain faster. Here are some tips for doing that:

  1. Warm Compress: Using a warm compress on your jaw for 15 to 20 minutes in intervals will help reduce the discomfort. Make sure to reapply the compress throughout the day and notice the difference!
  2. Gentle Stressing Exercises: Another thing that helps reduce the discomfort is gentle stretches for your jaw. Ask your dentist for recommendations on adequate mouth exercises to alleviate jaw pain after filling.
  3. OTC Pain Medications: Taking pain medications will definitely eliminate the pain and discomfort after dental filling. Talk to your dentist before you try over-the-counter medication; they’ll recommend the most suitable option.


You may have pain in the jaw after filling since the procedure requires you to keep your mouth open for a long time, which might strain the mouth muscles and cause discomfort. Talk to your dentist to eliminate the pain.

Our dental team has the expertise to perform effective procedures. So, talk to the Vintage Smile Family Dentistry team at (281) 251-7770. You can also visit us at 10300 Louetta Rd Ste 132, Houston, TX 77070, United States.