Dental fillings are supposed to solve problems, but they sometimes end up causing new ones. For a variety of reasons, they can become loose and fall out. When this happens, it’s a good idea to call your emergency dentist in Marble Falls so they can take action and protect the remaining tooth structure. What most people don’t know is that there are things you can do to make the treatment process easier and less painful. Read on to find out what steps you should take after your filling falls out.
What Causes Fillings To Fall Out?
Some reasons why your filling may fall out are:
- Tooth decay
- Grinding and clenching your teeth at night
- Saliva weakening the bond between the filling and tooth surface
- Chewing on hard foods
- Receiving strong impacts to the area near the filling
What Steps Do You Need To Take?
The first thing you should do when your filling falls out is notify your emergency dentist. After that, you should take the following actions:
- Recover the filling and clean it by rinsing it with water. Bring it with you when you go to your dentist, as they may be able to put it back in.
- Clean the area around the missing filling by gently brushing.
- Apply a small amount of clove oil on the gums near the affected tooth to reduce pain. If it persists, take over the counter pain medication.
- Avoid chewing or drinking liquids on the side of your mouth where the filling is missing.
How Long Can You Wait Before Getting Treatment?
You shouldn’t wait more than a day to get treatment for your missing filling. With the interior of your tooth exposed, you’re vulnerable to infection. If bacteria enter the tooth and damage it further, you may need to have a root canal or an extraction done.
What Will Your Dentist Do?
If your filling is mostly intact, then your dentist may be able to place it back in your tooth. However, if it or the surrounding tooth structure is damaged, then they will need to prepare and place a brand-new filling.
How Can You Prevent Your Fillings From Falling Out?
The longevity of your fillings is directly tied to the quality of your oral health and your dental hygiene habits. Maintaining a clean, healthy mouth reduces the amount damage a filling takes on a daily basis. Some helpful habits to protect your filling are:
- Limiting your intake of sugary and sticky foods
- Wearing a nightguard if you grind or clench your teeth
- Brushing and flossing after every meal
- Stopping bad dental habits like chewing on ice or fingernails
Are Some Kinds Of Fillings More Likely To Fall Out?
Fillings can be made of a variety of materials. While they are strong, none are truly permanent. Even individuals with the best oral health may still need to have their fillings repaired or replaced at some point in their lives.
A broken dental filling doesn’t need to ruin your peace of mind. Taking the proper precautions after one falls out can save you from dealing with a lot of pain and make it easier for your emergency dentist in Marble Falls to treat you.
About the Author
Dr. Greg Ritchie went to dental school at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He then completed a residency at the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital. There, he received extensive training in both sedation and cosmetic dentistry. He strives to provide every emergency patient with solutions that look good and feel good. If you would like to know more about what to do when you have a dental emergency, you can reach him at his website or at 830-693-8833.