Fillings can last for decades, but like everything else, they eventually require replacement. You might think it would be obvious when you have a broken filling but that isn’t always the case. In this blog, we outline five signs that could indicate a filling has broken or become worn beyond repair.
Increased Pressure on the Tooth When Chewing
Chewing places a lot of pressure on your teeth and can become much stronger in a tooth that has lost its filling. Increased pressure could also indicate that the pulp of your tooth has sustained damage and could require a root canal. The only way to know for sure is to schedule an exam with the Cherry Creek Family Dentistry office.
When a filling develops a crack, it usually happens slowly over many years. Fillings can also crack if you have a habit of teeth grinding, chewing hard candy, or opening bags with your teeth. Bacteria starts to invade when the crack gets larger, which can cause significant pain in that tooth.
Tooth cracks are often surface level, making it challenging to see them. We recommend scheduling an exam and X-ray at Cherry Creek Family Dentistry if you have sudden tooth pain for this reason. Your dentist will find the crack in your tooth and determine what caused it. Some patients develop a cavity underneath a cracked tooth that requires prompt treatment.
Tooth sensitivity is a common symptom of a broken filling. If you have ever taken a drink of cold water or bite of hot food only to have your tooth throb in pain, then you have experienced this symptom. Your tooth can respond the same way to changes in pressure or eating sweets.
People sometimes try to treat this problem at home by increasing their brushing, taking non-prescription pain relievers, or applying an ice pack to their jaw. While these home remedies do help, they only mask the problem. You need an oral exam to determine and treat the true cause of your tooth sensitivity, which is likely a broken filling.
You Feel or See That the Filling Has Fallen Out
You could suddenly lose a filling one day just by biting into food. The filling could also come loose without you knowing it but then you feel something unusual on your tongue. This leaves no doubt that you need to have the filling replaced. We don’t recommend trying to save any of the old filling material, especially if you have had the filling for many years. You could also experience pain when you expose the non-filled tooth to air, cold temperatures, or hot temperatures.
Don’t Suffer Needlessly, Call Cherry Creek Family Dentistry Today
Our dental team doesn’t want to see anyone deal with ongoing pain caused by a broken or worn filling. We encourage you to schedule an appointment if your symptoms don’t go away after a few days, especially if they come on suddenly. Replacing an old metal filling gives you the chance to select white or tooth-colored filling material that blends in well with the natural color of your teeth. Please don’t hesitate to contact the Cherry Creek Family Dentistry at 303-321-1323 if you have concerns about a tooth filling.