Dental fillings can and do fall out sometimes. They are supposed to last for a long time, but not forever. Although some of them do last for a lifetime, they tend to fall out for various reasons.
The duration of your filling being kept in place also depends on what material it is made of. Your personal oral hygiene habits also affect the life of your dental filling. Regular check ups and keeping your teeth and gums healthy will make your dental fillings last longer.
The size and shape of the filling also affects the duration of its life. Dental fillings are available in many materials. All materials vary in their strength and pressure of chewing they can endure.
What are dental fillings?
Dental fillings are substances that are used to repair broken or chipped teeth in addition to fill the cavities created while cleaning decayed teeth. Usually, dental fillings are used in ways where it should last for a long time. Dental filling does not fall out easily, but when they do fall out, it comes as a surprise turning into shock and then anxiety. There is no need to panic though. You just need an appointment with your dentist and your team will be glad to fill the cavity with another filling. But there are reasons why dental fillings sometimes fall out.
Reasons why dental fillings fall out
The following are some of the common reasons why dental fillings can come loose and even fall off.
sometimes after the tooth has been filled with the dental filling, the surrounding area develops decay because of some leftover debris. The decay continues to grow in the neighbouring area and making its way to the dental filling causing it to come loose and fall out. This is one of the main reasons for dental fillings to come out of the tooth.
Bonding of the dental fillings with the tooth in question is vital for the filling to stay in place, and it is a natural and normal in most cases. But some in some individuals this does not happen as a natural phenomenon. In these cases, a chemical reaction between the dental filling and the tooth may not allow the filling to get bonded to the tooth and causes it to fall out a few days or a few weeks after it had been filled in the tooth.
Bruxism and habit of grinding teeth:
Some people have the habit of grinding teeth during sleep. Others have a habit of grinding teeth while concentrating on something difficult or when they go through intensely emotional experiences. The habit of grinding teeth exerts pressure on the teeth and may cause the dental filling to come loose and pop out.
Sometimes drugs and medicines taken for the medical condition of the patient may interfere with the bonding of the filling with the tooth, causing it to come free and fall out.
What is to be done in case your dental filling falls out?
As is logical, the first thing to do is to call your dentist and make an appointment after explaining the situation. It is important to get the condition fixed as early as possible because the empty space created by fallen dental filling can bring on other unpleasant dental issues which will have to be dealt with in order to avoid pain and further decay. Therefore, getting the dental filling replaced as soon as possible should be your top priority. While talking to your dentist, tell him if there is any pain in the place from where the filling has fallen down. If in case the dentist cannot see you right away and you get an appointment only in 2 or 3 days away, ask him what steps you should take to keep your tooth safe.
- If the filling is lost, there is no issue. The dentist will use a new filling in its place.
- Keep the area clean as far as possible. If you are going to see the dentist in a few hours, avoid taking solid food.
- Gargle with lukewarm water many times a day. This exercise will keep the bacteria away from damaging your exposed tooth.
- Regular dental hygiene routine should be practiced with caution to brush softly around the area of the exposed tooth
- Do not chew from the side of the affected tooth.
- You can fill your tooth with dental wax or temporary filling material which can be ordered online, till you can see your dentist.
- If for whatever reason your dentist can not give you an appointment right away, then ask him where else you can go, or who else you can see to get the situation corrected. Also in this case, if you are in pain, you can medication to reduce pain and swelling. Clove oil is considered anti-inflammatory and helps in arresting bacterial growth. It is available online. Apply it on exposed parts of the tooth to stop bacterial growth.
- Cold compress helps in pain relief and can be applied on the outside for pain relief.
How to prevent dental filling fallout
Prevention is better than cure. Following good oral hygiene rules will prevent the filling from falling out.
If your filling is large and occupies a major portion of your tooth, it is advisable to avoid hard and sticky foods like ice, nutshells or candies; and sugary foods which stick to your teeth dislodging your fillings and inviting bacteria.
Another golden rule to follow is to go for your dental appointments regularly and follow the advice of the dentist. Regular dental check ups can give an early warning if the filling looks loosened from the tooth, and the dentist can take early step to prevent it from falling out. The worn-out filling can be detected by the dentist and he will take steps to replace it in time.