What To Do When A Filling Breaks
Permanent fillings can last for a long time, especially if they maintained well. However, they’re not infallible and can crack or fall out for various reasons. Patients can avoid cracks and them falling out by observing some basic dental care habits, but sometimes breaks and loss is inevitable.
At Luck Dental Clinic, we encourage people to contact a dentist immediately if they notice their filling is broken or if it slips out. A damaged filling will expose the vulnerable cavity underneath it, which can become severely infected if the problem isn’t treated immediately. Here are some steps you can take when the filling breaks:
1. Book a Dentist Appointment Immediately
Get the earliest possible dentist appointment after you notice a damaged filling. Any delay can lead to serious dental problems down the line. A cracked filling is likely to fall out and if it does, it is a good idea to preserve it. The dentist will determine whether they should reuse the filling or replace it entirely.
2. Brush and Clean Your Teeth
It is important to avoid any sort of infection at this stage so you need to clean your teeth well. Brush your teeth gently twice a day and rinse your mouth with mouthwash regularly. This will reduce the chances of infection by clearing harmful bacteria. It is also a good idea to rinse your mouth well after meals. This ensures no food particles become lodged in vulnerable areas.
3. Use Numbing Agent
The exposed tooth pulp will be very sensitive and cause a considerable amount of discomfort. The best way to deal with the situation is to rub a numbing agent around the tooth and on it. You can buy a dental numbing agent from the drugstore or use clove oil for relief. This will ensure you’re comfortable until your dentist appointment.
4. Use Dental Wax As Temporary Treatment
Most dentists will grant an appointment quickly in this case but delays can happen. You can protect your teeth for a few days by filling the gap with dental wax. This will form a temporary barrier over the crack or the cavity and stall infection. You can find dental wax at the local pharmacy. This is a temporary treatment, which means you will still need to visit the dentist soon to protect your teeth.
5. Use Painkillers
Sometimes the numbing agent or clove oil treatment isn’t as effective as you want it to be. In such cases, patients can take over-the-counter painkillers like Tylenol or Ibuprofen to reduce the pain as much as possible. Be sure to only take the recommended dosage of painkillers.
6. Avoid Chewing On the Damaged Side
Chew on the opposite side of the damaged tooth to reduce the chances of further damage. For example, if the broken filling or exposed tooth is on the right side of your mouth, chew on the left side. This doesn’t just reduce damage, but can also help you avoid unnecessary pain.
7. Avoid Certain Foods
Some foods can increase the damage, risk of infection, and pain. It is best to avoid these items until you have received complete treatment from your dentist. These items include:
- Sweet and Sticky Substances – These will enter the cavity and leave traces of food particles behind. That can lead to infection and destroy healthy tissue.
- Hard Items – Fillings strengthen the physical integrity of natural teeth. If the filling falls out or is broken, the surrounding dental matter is vulnerable. Hard food items can easily damage it.
- Hot or Cold Items – The exposed tooth pulp is sensitive to temperature changes. If the food is too hot or too cold, you will experience a great deal of discomfort.
It is also a good idea to avoid acidic items like limes, lemons, oranges, and soft drinks to reduce discomfort.
If you want to know more about dental fillings or need to book an appointment, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Luck Dental Clinic. You can call 715 472 2211 today or contact us through this form.