What to Do About the Loss of a Filling

What to Do About the Loss of a Filling

Unfortunately, not all dental fillings can last forever. You might end up dealing with the loss of a filling for multiple reasons.

Some things that can cause the loss of a filling include:

  • The tooth decayed around the filling.
  • You chewed too hard on crunchy or hard materials.
  • Grinding your teeth caused the filling to come loose.
  • Your tooth was damaged by acute trauma, like an injury.
  • There was a chemical reaction that caused the filling to come loose.

If you’ve experienced a sudden loss of a filling, you should contact your dentist right away. While you’re waiting for an appointment, you should protect your tooth.

A replacement is important after the loss of a filling. This will prevent the tooth from becoming cracked, damaged, or further decayed.

Your first step should be to get in contact with an emergency dentist. We offer emergency dentist services every day of the week at Carolina Dental Arts. We’ll also talk you through protecting your tooth until we can see you.

Don’t throw away the loose filling. You should hang onto it so your dentist can decide whether it should be reused. If you lost a crown, your dentist might be able to put it back.

You should do a salt water gargle to remove food after the loss of a filling. This will prevent the tooth from becoming further decayed or potentially infected. Just mix a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water.

Don’t swallow the water! Just gargle it to wash bacteria and food waste out of your mouth.

You’ll want to keep up your usual tooth hygiene after the loss of a filling. But you should be very gentle when you brush the damaged tooth. You don’t want to scrub away any remaining enamel.

It’s also a good idea to try not to chew with your exposed tooth. That will help keep food from getting stuck in the cavity.

If you have to wait a little while to see your dentist following the loss of a filling, you should purchase dental wax online. This wax can be temporarily cemented to your tooth to protect it from debris. Keep in mind, though, that this solution is only temporary. You must see your dentist!

What if there’s pain?

In many cases, the loss of a filling won’t cause any discomfort. But there are other times when you might experience pain. This might be related to swelling and irritation in your gums.

In more serious cases, the pain might be related to the root of your tooth. If the root is exposed, you might end up needing a root canal. Your dentist will be able to tell you how serious the damage is when you see them.

While you’re waiting for your appointment, there are several ways to manage pain:

  • Take ibuprofen or another over-the-counter pain medicine. These medications help to lower the swelling and pain.
  • Put clove oil over your exposed gum and tooth. Clove oil is a natural remedy that has been used for tooth pain for hundreds of years.
  • Put an ice pack or cold compress against your jaw. Using this for 15 minutes can reduce swelling. Try not to use ice for more than 15 minutes at once.
  • You can try topical numbing agents like Orajel. Just be aware that these have occasional serious side effects.

Potential Complications from the Loss of a Filling

While a loose filling isn’t as dire as a cracked tooth or loose crown, it is a problem. Your cavity is exposed, making your tooth vulnerable to damage. Bacteria can cause the tooth to decay more quickly. It’s difficult to remove all the plaque and debris from the hole.

Another problem is that you might have dentin exposed. Dentin is underneath your enamel. Since it is softer than enamel, it decays more easily. Your dentin is also more sensitive to temperatures and brushing.

As long as you deal with the situation quickly, you’re unlikely to have major problems. But you shouldn’t leave the tooth exposed for long.

If you’re dealing with loss of a filling, you should contact us at Carolina Dental Arts right away. Our practice on New Bern Ave is open on the weekends for all kinds of dental emergencies. We have a fully equipped staff that speak Spanish as well. Call to book an appointment, since time is of the essence.