Dental fillings last for a long time, but they do eventually need replacing. Most patients can tell when something is not quite right, but they may delay a visit to the dentist until the filling actually falls out. Instead of waiting that long, call and schedule an appointment if you notice any of these three changes taking place.
You Notice the Filling is Loose
Running your tongue over the tooth confirms something that you believed was happening. Using the tip, it’s easy to move the filling back and forth a little. At present, you are not experiencing any discomfort so it may not seem like a big deal. That will change when the filling finally falls out and there is a greater danger of irritation to the nerves in the tooth root.
Things are Getting Sensitive
The filling may still seem to be firmly in place, but something has changed. Until recently, you could eat or drink anything and not have any pain at all. Now it seems that if you bite into something cold or take a swallow of an iced drink, shock waves go all the way through the tooth. The discomfort is so bad that you’ve taken to chewing on the other side of the mouth. When you drink any kind of cold beverage, you use a straw.
You probably have some additional decay that is leaving the tooth root unprotected. It’s time for a dentist to take a close look at the tooth and determine what should be done. In some cases, replacing the aging filling will be enough. At other times, the dentist may want to talk with you about an extraction and maybe an implant to replace the damaged tooth.
Pain When You Are Not Eating or Drinking
If you experience throbbing or bolts of pain that seem to come about for no reason at all, you definitely need help from a dental professional. This is also true if you wake up one morning and notice some swelling along the gum just below the tooth. Even if the swelling and the pain go away, something is seriously wrong. Now is the time to find out if you need a new filling or if another procedure is in order.
Pressure When You Chew
You don’t have pain exactly, but there is definitely a sense of pressure on the filling when you chew. It’s hard to describe, but the feeling on the tooth is different from the sensation on the other teeth. In many cases, a new filling will ease the sensation and you can chew without the distraction.
If you notice anything out of the ordinary with a tooth filling, don’t write it off as an isolated event. Call today and schedule an appointment. Doing so will protect your dental health and ensure that you get to keep all of your teeth for as many years as possible.