Do You Have a Cracked Dental Filling? Let Us Help
If you had difficulty with cavities in the past, your dentist may have placed a dental filling. But what do you do if that filling sustains damage or falls off? At Luck Dental Clinic, we’ve treated several cases of patients with cracked or broken fillings.
Dr. Morgan Clemenson and our team aim to help limit the damage and make sure the surrounding tooth remains in good shape. Our emergency dentist in Luck, WI, will carefully examine the condition of the tooth before determining which treatment option is most suitable for your needs. Read on to learn more.
Signs of a Broken Filling
Some signs that you may have a broken dental filling include:
- Sharp or persistent tooth pain or sensitivity
- Pain or discomfort when biting or chewing
- A feeling of roughness or irregularity on the tooth surface
- Pain or discomfort when you bite down on the filling
- A visible gap or space between the filling and the tooth
It’s crucial to note that these signs may not always be present, and some symptoms may not be obvious. Schedule an appointment with our Luck dentist to get to the bottom of any irregularities with your dental filling.
Causes of Broken Dental Fillings
There are several reasons why your dental fillings may become cracked or loose:
- Wear and tear: Over time, constant pressure from biting and chewing can cause the dental filling to wear down and eventually break.
- Tooth decay: If tooth decay is left untreated and reaches the dental filling, it can weaken the filling and cause it to break.
- Dental trauma: A blow to the mouth or teeth can cause a filling to crack or break.
- Teeth grinding or clenching: Patients who grind or clench their teeth (bruxism) can put a lot of pressure on their fillings, leading to breakage.
- Poor oral hygiene: Neglecting oral hygiene can lead to plaque and bacteria buildup, which can eventually cause tooth decay and weaken the filling.
- Age: Fillings can wear out over time, and older fillings are more likely to break. Fillings should be replaced after about 10 to 15 years.
What Should I Do If My Filling is Damaged?
Here are a few tips and suggestions on what to do if you discover that your filling is broken or has fallen off.
Book a Dentist’s Appointment
If the filling is broken, nothing is protecting the underlying tooth pulp and dental matter from bacterial infestation. The longer you ignore the problem, the more likely it is that you will develop a severe infection. That’s why it is essential to call our emergency dentist at (715) 472-2211 for an appointment immediately after you notice the problem.
Avoid Certain Food Items
Some food items will place additional strain on your damaged filling and cause it to become dislodged entirely. You might need to restrict your diet to soft and liquid-based foods for a few days. Avoid any food item that’s difficult to chew or that may cause strain to the compromised tooth filling.
Avoid Chewing On The Side of the Damaged Tooth
Even if you’ve restricted yourself to soft food items, don’t chew on the side of the damaged tooth. When the filling breaks, it compromises the tooth structure, making it vulnerable to damage. Chew on the opposite side of the jaw to eliminate any pressure on the damaged tooth. This will also help keep the site clean.
Frequently Asked Questions
While broken or loose fillings can be painful, they’re typically not considered dental emergencies. You should still schedule an appointment with your primary dentist immediately to fix the issue, as broken filings can invite harmful bacteria into your tooth. However, if the pain is unbearable or accompanied by bleeding, it may be considered a dental emergency.
There are several ways you can prevent broken fillings, such as:
- Brushing and flossing daily
- Visiting your dentist for routine checkups
- Avoiding sugary and acidic foods
- Wearing a mouthguard or night guard
- Avoiding biting down too hard
Because dental fillings are often applied to broken or decayed teeth, broken fillings may make way for unhealthy bacteria to enter the damaged tooth. This can lead to gum disease, infection, and other serious complications. Neglecting to fix a cracked dental filling may result in a root canal treatment or tooth extraction down the road.
Dental insurance may cover a portion of the cost of broken dental filling treatment, but it depends on the details of your plan. Contact your insurance provider to learn more about your coverage. If you need help covering out-of-pocket expenses, ask your dentist if their office offers in-house savings plans or financing options.