Blevins Dentistry

My Filling Fell Out: What You Should Do

Mullins SC Dentist Office

Mullins SC dentist patient covering mouth with lost filling

Dental fillings are designed to treat cavities after decay has been removed from an affected tooth. Their lifespan ultimately depends on your oral care routine and the wear and tear that comes with daily diet or activities. Eventually though, fillings do require replacement by our Mullins dentist and can even fall out.

Here are the steps you should take after you’ve realized a filling has fallen out.

Common Reasons for a Loose Filling

There are a few reasons why a filling can loosen and fall out. Many of the common causes point to the food a person consumes and how their teeth bite down when eating. Regardless of how it happens, Dr. Blevins encourages you to call us so we can resolve the issue.

Fillings can fall out because of:

  • New decay present around the filling
  • Hard chewing when eating
  • Consumption of very hard or crunchy foods
  • Excessive grinding your teeth (bruxism)
  • Recent trauma to the tooth or root
  • A chemical reaction that effectively loosens the bond of the filling to the tooth

How Serious Is It?

Most of the time, a lost filling is not considered a dental emergency. However, if you are experiencing pain and sensitivity around the affected tooth, it’s not something you should ignore.

Our recommendation is that you wait no longer than 3 days to see our dentist. This advice still goes even if you have mild tooth pain. Dr. Blevins does leave time open in his schedule for urgent matters so we should be able to get you in for a visit soon after you call.

If you wait too long and the tooth is left unprotected for more than 3 days, Dr. Blevins might have to place a dental crown. We care about your oral health and will ultimately determine what is best for you.

What to Do Next

When a filling falls out, there are a few steps you can take to protect the affected tooth from decay before you’re seen by Dr. Blevins. First, give our Mullins dental office a call and let us know what’s happened. We’ll need to know if you’re experiencing pain during this conversation.

While you wait for your appointment, we recommend that you take measures to prevent further damage. Try gargling with warm salt water for 30 seconds at a time as this can reduce pain, inflammation, and bacteria buildup in the area. You can also apply dental cement as a temporary filling, but we advise that you consult with Dr. Blevins first.

Taking over-the-counter pain medication or applying a numbing agent, like Orajel™, can also help relieve any discomfort while you wait. If you have any swelling, you can use an ice pack.

Actions We Advise Against: What Not to Do

Just as there are things you should do when a filling falls out, there are also things you should avoid. If you are reckless or wait too long to be seen, it can lead to further complications.

Dr. Blevins recommends you DON’T do the following with a missing filling:

  • Wait to make an appointment at our dental office
  • Chew all of your food on the opposite side of the missing filling
  • Touch the affected area
  • Clench or grind your teeth
  • Eat hard food or chew on ice

Ways to Prevent Lost Fillings

The lifetime of a filling is tied to your own actions and personal dental hygiene. If you’re not taking care of your teeth and gums, it’s likely that your filling will not last long before it falls out.

Help protect your teeth and prevent lost fillings by brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily. Be sure to also see Dr. Blevins for regular checkups and teeth cleanings every 6 months, or as often as directed. If grinding or clenching your teeth is an issue, we can work to find a solution that best suits your needs.

Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Blevins

Most of the time, a placed filling will last for years but life happens. If your filling accidentally falls out, our dentist in Mullins, SC, can take care of the situation in short order. Call Blevins Dentistry at (843) 561-4039 today to request an appointment.

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