What Do I Do If My Old Filling Fails?
If you have an older filling and suddenly you’re feeling some pain in the area, unfortunately, you may be experiencing a failed dental filling.
Dental fillings have a very important role in helping keep your oral health in check. Once a tooth has been treated for a cavity or even an infection, the filling is added to both restore the shape and size of the tooth and also keep the inside from coming into contact with food particles and harmful bacteria.
A failed filling is nothing to ignore. Keep reading to find out how to tell if your filling has failed, and what you need to do to protect your oral health.
Signs of a Failed Filling
Signs that your filling has failed can include:
- Visible damage - If you see your filling has chipped, cracked, or fallen off completely, then you’re definitely due for a dentist appointment as soon as possible. This can happen because of regular wear and tear, when you bite on something hard, or suffer a direct blow to the mouth.
- Pain - A failed filling may not be visible, but it may lead to a toothache as bacteria now have a way inside the tooth. Pain can be constant, throbbing, or you may experience sharp pains when the tooth is exposed to heat or cold.
- Discoloration - Some patients may not experience pain right away. But another way to tell a filling has failed is if you notice any changes in the way your tooth looks. Cavities can lead to tooth discoloration, so if your tooth suddenly appears gray or yellow (and it’s not something you ate), it could be a sign of a failed filling.
What to Do If a Filling Comes Loose
A loose filling needs to be replaced as soon as possible. When you notice your filling is damaged, you need to book a dentist's appointment as soon as possible, to prevent further damage to your tooth.
If you already experience pain, or can’t see the dentist right away, you can:
- Take OTC pain medication to manage your symptoms
- Gently brush your tooth
- Cleanse with salt water
- Avoid chewing on that side of your mouth
- Use dental wax or temporary filling material to protect your tooth if your dentist recommends it
How to Care for a Filling to Prevent It from Coming Loose
The best way to care for a filling is to care for your overall oral health:
- Brush your teeth every day
- Don’t chew on hard food or objects
- Limit your sugar intake
- See the dentist for routine appointments
If you notice your filling is failing, Dr. Amanda Burke can see you right away and help replace it.
Book an appointment at Burke Dental Group online.
If you’re in a lot of pain and can’t wait for a regular visit, then call us at (769) 241-1186 for an emergency dental appointment.