Losing a dental restoration can be stressful. Even though losing your dental filling isn’t as severe as knocking out your tooth or other dental emergencies, it’s still super important that you address the issue quickly. However, it can be stressful if you aren’t sure what steps to take to restore the integrity of your tooth. Continue reading to learn why fillings fall out and what you should do if you find yourself in this situation.
Why Do Dental Fillings Fall Out?
Dental fillings are strong and durable. They can last decades before needing to be replaced. However, they aren’t indestructible, so they can become dislodged for one reason or another. Here are some of the most common reasons why dental fillings become loose and fall out:
- New decay around the filling
- Chewing too hard
- Biting into foods that are too hard or crunchy
- Clenching and grinding the teeth (bruxism)
- Trauma to the tooth or root
- A chemical reaction that loosens the bond between the filling and tooth
What Should You Do If Your Filling Falls Out?
Here are the steps you should take if your filling falls out:
- Call your Dentist: The first thing you should do if your filling becomes loose or broken is give your dentist a call. Let them know what happened, if you have any symptoms, and if there is any pain. It’s important that you schedule an appointment soon or else you can experience additional decay and damage.
- Be Extra Careful: As you are waiting for your appointment to arrive, you should be extra careful, as your tooth is left vulnerable to harmful bacteria. You should avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where your filling was to prevent food and bacteria from filling in the space left by the filling.
- Manage Discomfort: If you are experiencing sensitivity or discomfort as a result of the lost filling, over-the-counter pain relievers can help to lessen this. Use the one that typically works best for you and be sure to follow the dosage instructions on the label.
- Keep the Area Clean: Keep up your normal dental hygiene routine but be especially careful in the area where your filling was. Gargle with saltwater to keep the area clean and remove any food debris from the area. You can also use dental wax to protect the exposed tooth until you can have it repaired by your dentist.
Dental fillings are long-lasting, but they aren’t made to stick around forever. If yours becomes lost or damaged, follow the steps listed above. Your smile will be good as new in no time!
About the Author
Dr. Mike Asay earned his dental doctorate from the Baylor College of Dentistry and is committed to continuing education to keep his knowledge and skills sharp. Currently, he is a proud member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Dental Association, Texas Dental Association, and Texas Academy of Cosmetic Dentists. If your filling is lost or damaged, he’d be happy to help. For more information or to schedule an appointment at his office in Round Rock, visit his website or call (512) 244-2796.