If a tooth filling comes out, there is no need to panic. Of course, it can be a traumatic experience, especially if the filling comes out when you are eating something and you happen to bite on it. However, you need not worry because your dentist can easily fix the problem.
If the filling is made of a composite material, glass ionomer or amalgam, you don’t have to collect and keep the filling. If the filling is ceramic inlay or gold, then you must save it because your dentist can fix it back into its original position.
When You Notice the Filling is Out
The first and foremost thing you need to do is take out the filling from your mouth. This is important because you can accidentally breathe it in or swallow it. If you happen to swallow the filling, it may simply pass off without a problem most of the time. On the other hand, accidentally breathing in the filling into the lungs can result in an infection.
The next step is to call your dentist and to setup an appointment to replace the filling. In the event of extreme cases, you may contact the emergency line for your dentist for the best course of action in the meantime.
X-rays are important to your dental office visit as it helps to determine:
• If a filling is cracked or leaking (the filling does not fit tightly into the tooth)
• If a filling is allowing saliva and debris to seep in between the tooth and filling
Prior to visiting the dentist, you must practice good oral hygiene, especially around the area of the filling. This is very important because an unfilled tooth traps food; which results in the accumulation of harmful bacteria. Brush your teeth gently and carefully, especially inside the crack to ensure that all food debris is removed.
Additionally, you should rinse your mouth using salt water after eating your food. You can make an effective rinse by mixing one cup of warm water with one teaspoon of salt.
If you are experiencing sensitivity problems after a tooth filling comes off, it can be due to the dentin tubules getting exposed. Dentin tubules are tiny communication pathways between the tooth’s pulp and dentin.
Top Reasons Why a Tooth Filling Falls Out
The most common reason why a tooth filling falls out is due to the presence of decay around the filling. This is because the tooth becomes soft from the decay and the filling cannot hold on to it.
Sometimes, the filling gets de-bonded from the tooth. Such a situation often happens within one or two weeks of getting your tooth filled by the dentist. Though not very common, it usually happens due to the chemical corruption that occurs when saliva gets into the cavity at the time of placement of the filling.
In case you have the habit of grinding your teeth or eating hard food, the pressure/force associated with grinding can dislodge the filling out of the tooth if the filling is large. Grinding force can break the tooth or the filling. If the filling material used is not capable of withstanding the forces placed on them, then the filling can come off.
To know more about as to how dental restoration is carried out, you may refer to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dental_restoration
How To Prevent a Filling From Falling Out In the Future
To ensure that your tooth filling does not fall out in the future, follow these 3 steps:
1. Brush your teeth using fluoride toothpaste.
2. Floss them at least once in a day.
3. Visit your dentist on a regular basis for cleanings.
Generally, avoid chewing or eating hard substances at least for 24 hours after the dentist places the filling into your tooth. In the case of silver fillings, you should be extremely careful for the first 24 hours. Chew your food using the other side of your mouth. If composite white filling is used, then you can start chewing as soon as the effect of the anesthetic wears off, but it is better to avoid chewing with the filled tooth for some time to be on the safer side. For more information on dental health and aftercare, you can refer to http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-health-fillings