The world seems to come to a screeching halt when you get smacked in the mouth, and there are few things as anxiety-inducing as slowly raising your hand to feel if you’ve lost a tooth. But sometimes it isn’t your teeth that get knocked out; it’s also possible to lose a dental filling! Here’s more from your emergency dentist in Waverly about why this can happen and how to handle the situation.
What Causes Dental Fillings to Fail?
Dental fillings aren’t meant to last forever, usually only enduring for around 10 years. After some time, they can fail and fall out. A few common reasons for this include:
- Tooth decay around the filling.
- Chewing too hard.
- Biting into hard or crunchy foods.
- Bruxism (grinding and clenching your teeth).
- Trauma or injury to the tooth or root.
- A chemical reaction that loosens the filling.
What Should I Do After Losing a Filling?
Losing a dental filling is technically an emergency—but it’s not a reason to panic! That said, as with any dental emergency, prolonging care will only make matters worse. Call your dentist as soon as possible and explain what happened; they’re the absolute best person for handling this issue! They’ll inquire about any symptoms you’re experiencing and schedule an appointment to address the filling. Once your visit has been scheduled, do your best to relax and keep your mouth clean. Avoid chewing on the side of the mouth where the filling was and gently rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater solution. Over-the-counter painkillers can also be taken if needed.
How Can I Protect My Fillings Moving Forward?
Although there’s no foolproof way to avoid the possibility of losing or damaging a filling, there’s a lot you can do to lower the chance of it happening! Most of it boils down to simply practicing good oral hygiene; by brushing and flossing daily, you’ll radically lower your risk of experiencing an issue like tooth decay or gum disease that might compromise your filling. You should also regularly visit your dentist for checkups and cleanings. Even the little things, including limiting your consumption of difficult-to-chew foods and wearing a mouth guard during sports, also contribute towards keeping your dental fillings firmly in place.
Knowing why dental implants can fail, what to do when it happens, and how to prevent it from happening in the first place will give your fillings the best chance to do their job and help protect your pearly whites!
About the Author
Dr. Jonathan Smiley received his DMD from the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine and is a proud member of several professional organizations including the American Dental Association and the prestigious Academy of General Dentistry. His practice in Waverly is thrilled to offer a wide range of services including dental fillings! To request more information or schedule an appointment, please visit the practice’s website or give them a call: (319) 352-2270.