Tips on How to Manage a Lost Dental Filling

woman covering mouth due to lost dental filling in Richardson

You bite into one of your favorite crunchy meals when suddenly you hear a cracking sound. To your surprise, you’ve lost your dental filling. While this might not be as urgent as knocking out a tooth, you’ll still need to see your dentist as soon as possible to get the issue fixed. Read on to learn about what can make dental fillings fall out and what you’ll need to do in this kind of situation!

What Can Cause a Dental Filling to Fall Out?

Dental fillings provide a durable solution for teeth that have decayed, and you can expect your results to last decades before you’ll eventually need to replace them. That said, it doesn’t mean they’re indestructible. They can still become weak or loose due to several reasons. Here are several common causes of dental fillings falling out:

  • Biting into meals that are too hard or crunchy
  • New decay around the filling
  • Clenching or grinding the teeth (bruxism)
  • Chewing excessively (or too hard)
  • A chemical reaction that slackens the bond between the tooth and filling
  • Trauma to your tooth or root

What Should I Do If My Filling Falls Out?

If your dental filling ever falls out, you’ll want to implement the following steps:

  • Inform your dentist: Even if you aren’t feeling any pain, you should call your dentist if your filling is loosened or broken. Explain the incident to them, any symptoms you may have, and if you feel any discomfort. By scheduling an appointment right away, you’ll be able to avoid experiencing further decay and damage.
  • Keep the area clean: You’ll want to maintain proper oral hygiene like normal while being careful around the area where your filling was. Rinse with saltwater to sanitize your exposed tooth, remove any food debris, and alleviate any discomfort. You might consider using dental wax to protect your soft oral tissues in case your tooth has jagged or sharp edges.
  • Be gentle: While waiting for your appointment, make sure to be careful with the exposed tooth. Since it’s more susceptible to bacteria and damage, you should avoid chewing on that side of your mouth to prevent particles from accumulating where the filling was.
  • Alleviate your discomfort: Take over-the-counter pain relievers as directed if you’re experiencing discomfort or sensitivity. This will help you stay comfortable until you can see your dentist.

While dental fillings are long-lasting, they aren’t meant to remain in your mouth forever. Keep these few tips if yours becomes damaged or lost, and you’ll be able to return to enjoying your fully renewed smile in no time!

About the Author

Dr. Ellis Shwarts received his dental degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He also regularly pursues advanced training to refine his expertise and techniques. He offers a wide variety of high-quality services, including dental fillings. If you need to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call him at 972-525-9283.