When Do You Need To Replace Your Filling?
3 Signs You Need to Replace Your Filling
Having good oral hygiene entails a lot more than just having a good smile.
Good oral hygiene is vital to your overall physical health, and it plays a massive role in most people's self-esteem.
When something in your mouth is hurting, it typically affects the following:
- Eating habits
- Your smile
- Energy levels
Countless things could be causing the pain you feel in your mouth.
Inflammation, gum disease, infection, and even an old filling can be causing your discomfort. The two main types of materials used for fillings are composite and amalgam.
These are solid materials, but, especially as they age, issues can arise that cause pain and discomfort.
If you start feeling any discomfort that could be from an old filling, you need to get it taken care of as soon as possible.
Small issues can turn into significant issues with severe consequences faster than you'd expect, so the sooner you get them taken care of, the better.
If you suspect your filling is giving you trouble, there are a few things to look out for.
We'll discuss three of them below.
- You Lose The Filling
- The Filling Crack or Chips
- Pain or Sensitivity In The Tooth
- Visit A Dentist Today
We'll start with the most obvious symptom; the filling falls out.
Although it's not typical, your filling can fall out entirely.
If you bite down on a large filling with enough force, the filling or the tooth can end up breaking.
If the material that was used for your filling wasn't strong enough or adequate for your oral situation, it could break in half.
During the dental procedure, saliva can end up getting into the cavity or filling, disrupting the bond between the material and the tooth.
This causes the filling to be loose, which could lead to it falling out.
If your filling has fallen out, you need to get to your dentist ASAP.
Food particles and bacteria can get into the tooth where the filling was, leading to a larger cavity or an infection in the tooth or surrounding gums.
For a complete guide on how long dental fillings commonly last, click here.
Not as quite as intense as losing the filling, and a little more common of a situation, your filling could crack or chip.
Cracks can appear in old or new fillings. New fillings can crack when you bite down if they are too high, stick out above the tooth, or have an unrefined edge.
Old fillings can crack simply due to wear and tear of chewing and biting over the years.
A good quality filling put in properly typically lasts about 15 years.
Clenching or grinding your teeth a lot can also cause your fillings to crack.
Clenching or grinding your teeth in excess is called bruxism, and it can very easily lead to chipped fillings and even chipped teeth.
In more extreme cases, teeth grinding can cause the entire filling to fall out.
Similar to your filling falling out, cracks in a filling can allow food particles and bacteria to get in under the material
This can cause more tooth decay and other oral health issues such as an abscessed tooth, which could require a root canal to repair.
The most common sign that a filling needs to be replaced is pain and/or sensitivity in the tooth.
Once the new filling is in place, you'll likely have sensitivity in the area around the tooth for a couple of weeks after the procedure.
It's common for the area around the filling to become sensitive to the following:
- Pressure on the tooth
- Sugary substances
- Airflow over the tooth from breathing
- Hot or cold foods
Certain issues with your new filling could cause extended pain or sensitivity.
Gaps can appear between the filling and the tooth due to shrinkage of the material. This can cause your tooth and gum to become more sensitive.
Certain materials used for fillings, like amalgam, could leak after the procedure.
After a few weeks, the filling should naturally start to wear down and conform to your tooth, closing up any leaks.
Your tooth could be extremely sensitive during this time.
If the pain doesn't go away in a couple of weeks, you should see your dentist again.
Leaks in fillings can let germs and bacteria in, which could lead to a bigger cavity or other health issues.
As we've mentioned already, sometimes a filling can be too high. This means that part of the filling is raised above your tooth.
This could very easily cause pain every time you bite down.
Your filling could also have a sharp edge that causes pain while you chew. Your dentist will have to smooth out the filling or replace the material for a better fit.
Problems can arise in your filling no matter its age. An issue with the material can cause it to crack, leak, or fall out.
That can cause pain, sensitivity, or an infection in the tooth, gums, and the surrounding areas.
The best way to prevent any issues from occurring is to practice proper dental hygiene.
You should brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day every day. You should also visit your dentist at least once a year, preferably every six months.
When you visit your dentist, they will make sure everything is okay with your fillings and your oral health in general, and they can explain any issues that may arise from a filling.
If you think your fillings are causing your problems, reach out to the team at Hylan Dental Care.
Their experienced and expertly trained staff can check for signs to see if your fillings do need to be repaired.
Click the button below to secure your fillings and eliminate your pain and sensitivity today.