Correctly installed fillings should last for years, but sometimes circumstances and lifestyle causes them to wear out early. When this happens, you may experience discomfort. In the long run, if you ignore a bad filling, you could risk needing a root canal or abscess. Often, your dentist is the first one who will notice that your filling has gone bad, but sometimes you can tell in between your regular dental visits. Here are five ways to tell if you might need a filling replaced.
If a tooth has suddenly become more sensitive than usual, then it could be a sign that your filling is loose or deteriorating. This is especially true if you have suddenly become sensitive to cold, hot, or sweet foods. Some sensitivity to cold is not unusual if you have a deep filling, but it should dissipate after a short period after the filling is installed.
Chips and Cracks
Chips and cracks around the tooth or the filling are also a sign that your filling is not doing well. If the tooth is chipping around the filling, it could contribute to the filling becoming loose as well. Cracked fillings can let bacteria get in underneath and cause more tooth decay.
As fillings wear or chip, they often become misshapen. This may make it difficult for you to floss, especially if the filling is on the side of the tooth. Often, the floss will become snagged or torn apart as you use it against that filling. If this has come about suddenly, it could mean that your filling needs a checkup.
Sometimes, fillings wear to the point where their surface is uneven. This could cause problems with your bite and increase pressures against your other teeth. Often times, if the filling is new, you may just need to have the filling filed down.
A filling moving minutely is not abnormal and should be only temporary. However, if you find that the filling is moving a lot, or that you can actually remove it, even partially, then you definitely need a new filling. Fillings should not be able to be removed or even knocked out.
Many of these symptoms may only appear temporarily, so it's best to check with your dentist if you think that your fillings are deteriorating. Your dentist will check the status of your fillings when you have your mouth examined and x-rays taken. If you are feeling anything unusual around your teeth or mouth, or are having a general toothache that lasts more than a day or two, contact your dentist for an examination as soon as possible.
Contact a clinic, like ComfortCare Dental, for more help.