In this article we will be talking about why tooth filling fell out. Most times, decay in the teeth or gum can lead to damage and the teeth can no longer function like they used to. To repair or fix this, tooth filling is recommended. Tooth filling is a dental treatment whereby damaged tooth is restored. To do this, the bad tooth material is first removed and the area around it is cleaned out to avoid bacteria infestation.
After that, filling materials are used to fill up the space. The function of the fillings is to block spaces from which bacteria can enter and affect other parts of the tooth and also to prevent further decay.
There are different materials used for the fillings depending on the extent of the damage or the patient’s allergies.
Common filling materials are:
• Porcelain fillings
• Amalgam (silver) fillings
• Gold fillings
• Composite (plastic) resins
TOOTH FILLING FELL OUT
These dental fillings can become loose or fall out. Originally, tooth fillings are meant to last for a long time as they act as protective coverings against bacteria and germs in the mouth. However, due to factors and common habits, these fillings fall out and the space becomes empty again. If these fillings are not replaced, the teeth are exposed to infestation of bacteria which can damage them.
REASONS WHY TOOTH FILLING FELL OUT
1. New Cavity: Under or around the filling excessive consumption of sugary and acidic foods can lead to the seal between the tooth and the filling to break down. When this seal is broken down, bacteria and germs have access to enter underneath the fillings, this can lead to decay and falling out of other fillings.
2. Accident: On the affected tooth injuries and accidents can make dental fillings and other restorations to loosen and fall out.
3. Eating Hard or Crunchy Foods: If you have dental fillings, it is advised that you stay away from chewing hard foods like nuts and seed, even if you must take them, it should be in little quantities. This is because these foods put pressure on the teeth and can loosen fillings.
4. Teeth Grinding (Bruxism): Most people have the habit of grinding their teeth while sleeping, this condition is known as Bruxism. If it is not controlled or managed, the fillings may become loose easily and fall out. One of the ways to manage this condition is by using an occlusal splint (mouth guard that protects your teeth and fillings from the damaging effects of bruxism).
5. Chemical Reaction: There are chemical reactions that take place in the mouth, most of them have effects on our teeth. The reaction can lead to the break down of the seal holding the tooth and the fillings.
6. Chewing too Hard: The pressure you exert during chewing have effect on the teeth. Fillings are not to be pressured so when you chew too hard, the pressure makes the fillings to get loose and fall out.
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOUR TOOTH FILLING HAS FALLEN OUT?
According to Main Street Dental, California, there are common signs that will help you know if your tooth filling has become loose or fallen out which are:
1. You feel like there is a hole or crack in your tooth.
2. Severe pain in the tooth where the filling was present.
3. You become sensitive to cold or hot food.
4. A hard, small object is felt in the mouth after chewing.
5. Food is getting stuck where the filling is located.
IS IT PAINFUL WHEN TOOTH FILLINGS FALL OUT?
Tooth filling falling out can be as painful as any toothache. Apart from the severe pain, your teeth will become overly sensitive to pressure or temperature like air, cold or hot.
But in others, there may not be pain. If you do not feel any pain, it may mean that there is no decay or breakage in the tooth. However, you should not relax because if the empty space is not filled up again, bacteria can start infesting in it.
HOW TO RELIEVE THE PAIN
If the pain is severe and causing you discomfort, you can take over-the-counter pain relief medicines like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. However, you should stick to the recommended dosage no matter how severe the pain. Also, check if you can take these drugs especially ulcer patients to avoid complications. You can also do the following:
- Oral pain ointment can be applied on the affected area to numb the pain. Gum Relief Plus Triple Medicated Gel and Orajel™ Severe Toothache are commonly used.
- In cases of swelling, an ice pack can help reduce it. The ice pack should be left for 20 minutes.
- Clove oil is also helpful because it contains anti-inflammatory and numbing properties.
- Chew food with the affected tooth and jaw because it can make the pain more intense. Use the opposite jaw for chewing and biting.
- Touch the hole or space.
- Clench or grind your teeth.
- Eat hard foods, nuts and seeds.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IF YOUR TOOTH FILLING FELL OUT
Tooth filling is usually replaced as soon as possible so that bacteria do not attack or fill up the space. These are what you should do when you notice your fillings have fallen out:
1. Schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. This is because the more you allow the space to be in the tooth, the more your tooth is prone to bacteria infestation and you feel more pain. If your dentist cannot see you as soon as possible, he or she can recommend drugs that will help with the pain and protect the exposed tooth.
2. Wash the filling and keep it very well till you see your dentist. The dentist can tell if the filling will be reused or another one will be used. Even if the crown has been lost, it can be refixed to the tooth.
3. To keep the area clean from germs and leftover food particles, you should gargle with water mixed with salt. The solution will prevent bacteria from attacking the exposed tooth.
4. Practice good dental hygiene but brush gently with soft toothbrush. Your filling falling out should not stop you from brushing.
5. You can get temporary fillings to protect the exposed area from bacteria. This should act as covering till your dentist repair your fillings.
DO LOOSE OR FALLEN OUT TOOTH FILLING HAVE COMPLICATIONS?
There are complications if the tooth filling fell out and it is not replaced as soon as possible. some of the complications are:
• The empty space can be a breeding ground for bacteria and germs in the mouth causing decay to other parts of the teeth.
• The dentin, which is the second layer of tooth under the hard outer enamel can be exposed to bacteria. This part of the tooth is very sensitive and can easily be attacked by bacteria.
•The more the tooth is damaged due to the absence of tooth filling, the more extensive repair is needed.
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT A FILLING FROM BECOMING LOOSE?
Here are tips on how you can take care of your filling to prevent it from becoming loose or falling out:
• Use a fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Be gentle with the tooth with filling.
• Floss your teeth every day.
• Make sure you brush your tongue very well to remove bacteria. When you have bacteria in the tongue, they can easily get to the teeth.
• Change your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.
• Go for dental check-up regularly to detect a loose filling early.
• Seek help if you always or often grind or clench your teeth.
• Reduce your intake of sugary and sticky foods as they can stick to the teeth and turn to bacteria.
• Do not chew hard objects or foods like ice, nuts and seeds.
TOOTH FILLING COST
Most dental hospital add the cost of replacing a fallen tooth filling once or twice to the overall bill. You should also check if your dental insurance will cover the new filling or you will have to pay for it.
These are the estimated cost of tooth filling without insurance:
• Composite fillings — $90-$300 (per tooth)
• Glass Ionomer fillings — $90-$300 (per tooth)
• Silver amalgam fillings — $50-$200 (per tooth)
• Gold fillings — $500-$4,500 (per tooth)
HOW LONG DOES TOOTH FILLING LAST?
Tooth fillings are meant to last for a very long time, they can even last for decades if they are properly taken care of.
• Gold Fillings may last 15 to 30 years, they are the longest lasting fillings.
• Silver Amalgam Fillings can last up to 15 years before the need for replacement.
• Composite Resin Fillings may need to be replaced every 5 to 7 years.
Tooth filling is used for protection against bacteria and germs from further damaging the tooth. However, there are factors that can make these fillings to become loose or fall out.
You should see a dentist if the filling is out for it to be replaced immediately. This aids to prevent bacteria infestation.