Why Do I Bite Down on Paper When I Get My Fillings Done?

Moore Family Dentistry, located in Garner, NC provides patients with exceptional dental care to ensure you maintain optimal levels of oral health for years to come!

When you have a cavity, you have to remove it from the tooth completely and replace it with a filling. When the dentist places a filling, he or she will drill out the cavity and replace it with a tooth-colored composite that molds directly into where the cavity was. A great analogy to this procedure is like pouring concrete. You have to fill it in the designated area and smooth it all out so that the concrete is level. Well, with a filling you have to fill it in and make sure everything is in line with the other teeth. It may be that there is an excess of filling material so the dentist trims it down to match the shape and height of the other teeth there’s adequate material to do so.

Furthermore, one of the most important parts of the filling procedure is biting down on the carbon marking paper to show how your teeth are fitting together. To the dentist, these marks show where the teeth are functioning or if they aren’t functioning in alignment at all. For example, a heavy mark left on a tooth from the bite paper will prove to the dentist that a tooth is hitting the opposing tooth “too hard” and that this tooth might be too high so that it needs to be shaved off bit by bit. During this step, you may be asked to bite “up and down” “tap tap tap” your teeth or “grind around” in all sorts of ways, this is extra precaution to make sure that the teeth are hitting perfectly no matter how your bite is coming together. If this step weren’t taken, the filling may be too bulky or high and crack, or worse cause extreme sensitivity!

Sometimes, if you are extremely numb (especially on the top and bottom teeth at the same time) the muscles are a little out of whack and it can be difficult to get the bite absolutely perfect. A lot of times, the doctor will follow this paper as a guide and do what he can using the bite paper as data to get it right. However, if after the numbing wears off and it feels sensitive for multiple days afterward this may mean that you need a bite adjustment. Oftentimes, the bite can be off by only 1 mm or so and once an adjustment is made accordingly, everything would start to feel better!

Contact Moore Smiles:

If you’ve had a filling done recently and something doesn’t feel just right, those of us at Moore Smiles are here to help relieve any sensitivity or discomfort. We’ll take a look at your bite and use the bite paper to help provide data for what may need to be changed. Please contact us to schedule.

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