What To Do If Your Fillings Keep Falling Out
Many of us, at some point, will experience tooth decay. Tooth decay can damage the shape and function of a tooth, so to keep the tooth strong and prevent further decay, your dentist will install a filling. To put it simply, this means removing the decay, cleaning the cavity left behind, and filling it with a material, whether it’s gold, amalgam, composite, or otherwise. Occasionally, fillings can fall out—what should you do if your fillings keep falling out?
Fillings are a great way to prevent further decay and keep your tooth fortified for as long as possible. Whether a lost filling is an isolated incident or it happens regularly, this article can help you understand why it happens, what to do when it does and what you can do to prevent it from happening too often.
Why Do Fillings Fall Out?
There are a few reasons that a filling will fall out. In some cases, it’s because decay has begun to spread around the area of the original filling, which wears away at the tooth until the filling falls loose.
Physical forces can knock or pull the filling loose as well. For instance, chewing too hard, biting into hard or crunchy foods, grinding your teeth, and trauma to the tooth or root can all dislodge a filling. Some chemical reactions can loosen the bond of the filling to the tooth as well, including saliva that gets into the cavity and slowly wears away at it.
Steps You Might Need to Take
In many cases, fillings are prone to falling out due to the return and spread of tooth decay. If that’s the case, more care may need to be taken to improve dental hygiene habits, including the following:
Make sure you brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss regularly to properly clean away plaque and food residues.
Try to transition to healthier foods and limit your consumption of sugary snacks, which interacts with the bacteria on your teeth to produce decaying acid.
Rinse your mouth with a recommended mouthwash to stop bacteria from accumulating on your teeth.
Avoid acidic drinks such as soda and juice when possible, instead opting for water when you can.
Avoid chewing ice and biting hard foods that can dislodge your filling.
Make sure you see your dentist twice a year for an semi-annual check-up and to keep up with any recommended cleanings.
If you follow the steps above, you’ll be less likely to experience loose fillings, and they will fall out less often.
What to Do If A Filling Falls Out
Even if you do follow the steps above, sometimes your filling will simply fall out over time. You can take steps to reduce risk as best as possible, but it does still happen. First of all, don’t panic! While you should take action to fix the problem as soon as you can, it’s not a life-threatening emergency. Just follow the steps below:
Get in touch with your dentist as soon as you can to make an appointment. The dentist will then remove any decay and clean out the exposed area so that they can refill it.
Don’t throw your filling away just yet. Take it to your appointment so your dentist can see if it can be cleaned and reused instead of replaced.
Lightly brush the teeth surrounding the affected tooth and use mouthwash or water to rinse your mouth.
You can use medication like Tylenol and ibuprofen to help reduce the pain if it persists.
Avoid chewing food on the side of the affected tooth and avoid foods and drinks that can cause pain or further decay.
Although losing a filling out might not be a severe dental emergency, it’s certainly one you want to take care of as soon as you can to make sure that decay doesn’t lead to any potentially serious problems with your tooth. The first step is getting in touch with your dentist— make that call as soon as you can.
If you fail to take care of a filling that has fallen out, there can be serious consequences for your tooth. The decayed or damaged surface of the tooth can continue to grow, which can then lead to issues like infections of the nerve, which will require a more invasive treatment called a root canal.
If your filling has fallen out, you should get in touch with your local dentist today. Contact North Pole Dental as soon as possible for any help you might need.