So, your tooth filling has fallen out and you don’t know what to do? Well don’t panic, this is not an uncommon problem. Dental fillings don’t tend to last a lifetime. Depending on how you care for them will determine their longevity. It can be an uncomfortable feeling when a tooth filling has fallen out. It may mean increased sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. So, the best thing to do is call your dentist to book an appointment.
At Boon Dental our patient’s health and wellbeing are our number one priority. Our dentists are well-practised in all dental procedures. In this article, we will discuss what to do if your tooth filling has fallen out. We’ll also discuss some tips for protecting your filling.
Why do Fillings Fall Out?
Dental fillings can fall out for a variety of reasons. Fillings will not typically last a lifetime so it can be an inevitable occurrence. Some reasons a filling may fall out include:
- Prolonged pressure from chewing
- Saliva can loosen the bonding over time
- Decay that has developed in the surrounding area
- Biting down on something hard
- Teeth grinding (known as bruxism)
- General wear and tear
- Material used – some materials are more susceptible to falling out than others
What to Do if Your Tooth Filling Has Fallen Out
Although it is not a dental emergency if you have a filling fall out, it’s still important to act quickly. This is because the open cavity is susceptible to bacteria and infection. So, don’t panic, but book an appointment with your dentist as quickly as possible.
Here are some steps to follow if your tooth filling has fallen out:
- Remove the filling – try not to swallow the filing, remove it from your mouth if you can find it.
- Book an appointment with your dentist – the sooner you can get a new filling in place the better.
- Clean your teeth – while you wait for your dental appointment it is important to keep your mouth clean. Gently brush your teeth and rinse with mouthwash. You can also rinse with warm water and salt as a natural antiseptic.
- Use dental wax to fill the area – sometimes you cannot see your dentist for a few days. If this is the case, you may want to purchase some dental wax from your local chemist. You can use this to temporarily plug the cavity, protecting it from infection.
- Take a painkiller – if you are experiencing pain, discomfort or sensitivity, you can take some over-the-counter pain relief medication..
- Avoid chewing on the affected area – chew on the opposite side to the open cavity to avoid infection and bacteria getting in.
How to Protect my Fillings?
Fillings are not necessarily designed to last a lifetime. Most people will experience a filling falling out at some point in their life. The best preventative practice is good oral hygiene. Here are some helpful tips:
- Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes
- Use a soft toothbrush
- Use a fluoride-based toothpaste
- Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months
- Floss your teeth every day
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria
- Visit your dentist regularly (every 6 to 9 months)
Practising the above habits can help your teeth to stay healthy and your fillings intact. It’s important to visit your dentist for regular check-ups. They will be able to check on your fillings and see if they need replacing. Some other tips for protecting dental fillings include:
- Avoiding grinding – this can be hard if you are a natural sleep grinder. You may want to consider a mouthguard if that is the case.
- Avoiding chewing on hard objects
- Being careful when eating hard foods such as nuts
- Trying not to clench your jaw – practice relaxing your jaw every now and then. People often don’t realise how much tension they hold in their jaw.
- Limiting your consumption of sticky foods like toffee and caramel (this is good for the overall health of your teeth as well).
- If you notice increased sensitivity around the site of your filling, let your dentist know immediately.
Good dental hygiene can prolong the life of your fillings. But it is nearly impossible to avoid a dental filling falling out over your lifetime. If your tooth filling has fallen out, then contact your dentist straight away. This will hopefully avoid any infection or complications caused by an open cavity. If you feel like your tooth filling fallen out then call Boon Dental. We can help!