Have you ever eaten a meal in peace, only to feel something hard mixed in with your food? You may have just experienced a loose dental filling. Many people have encountered this issue and always ask the same question: Is a filling falling out an emergency?
Dental fillings serve as a protection as much as a restoration for decayed teeth. When a filling falls out, you must assess and do something about it quickly. While not all cases require immediate emergency care, you have to stay vigilant to avoid further complications.
Here are several things you need to know when dental fillings fall out.
Does a Filling Falling Out Call for an Emergency Action?
While the word “emergency” may bring about images of flashing lights and immediate panic, it doesn’t necessarily have to be so dramatic when it comes to dental issues. However, it certainly warrants immediate attention. While losing a filling is not life-threatening, it can lead to discomfort, pain, and further dental complications if not addressed promptly.
Therefore, “Is losing a filling a dental emergency?”—Yes, definitely. It is a wake-up call signaling immediate attention, urging you to book an appointment with your dentist swiftly to ensure your oral health is back on track.
What to Do When Your Filling Falls Out
Step 1: Examine the Affected Tooth
Take a moment to carefully explore the affected tooth with your tongue, gently feeling for any signs of damage or discomfort. Doing so lets you better understand the extent of the issue. Also, you should refrain from chewing on that side of your mouth to prevent further aggravation.
Step 2: Rinse Your Mouth
Experts recommend using warm salt water to clean your mouth effectively. This gentle yet thorough approach aids in removing food debris and bacteria that can settle in the exposed cavity, which also improves oral hygiene and overall dental health. Incorporating this simple practice into your daily routine can ensure a fresher and healthier mouth.
Step 3: Temporary Tooth Filling Materials
While not a long-term solution, you can use over-the-counter temporary tooth-filling materials to protect the tooth until you visit an emergency dentist. Often made of a soft, pliable substance, these materials can protect you against sensitivity and further damage.
Step 4: Pain Relief
If you’re experiencing dental pain, you can also use over-the-counter pain relievers. Also, you should avoid extremely hot or cold foods that can increase the discomfort.
Step 5: Contact Your Emergency Dentist
You must schedule an appointment quickly, especially for cases where your dental filling requires immediate treatment. After following the previous steps, don’t forget to visit your emergency dentist immediately to ensure it doesn’t cause further dental complications.
What Are the Risks of a Loose or Lost Filling?
Damage to the Tooth Structure
When a tooth filling loosens or falls out, it exposes the unprotected tooth and makes it susceptible to damage. Without the protective barrier of the filling, there’s an increased risk of the tooth chipping or breaking further, potentially leading to extensive dental procedures such as root canals or tooth extractions.
Infection and Decay
You may be wondering, “Is a lost filling an emergency?” If you do experience a lost filling, it certainly qualifies as an emergency. The loss creates a void in the tooth, turning that space into a breeding ground for bacterial plaques. This increases the risk of infection or decay, which can result in discomfort and pain. If such an emergency is left untreated, it can further complicate future dental repairs and harm your overall oral health.
Sensitivity and Pain
A missing filling exposes the sensitive inner layers of the tooth and leads to heightened sensitivity to hot, cold or sweet stimuli. This discomfort can range from a slight twinge to consistent or severe pain. That’s why you should get it checked by an emergency dentist to avoid tooth sensitivity and pain.
Adverse Effects on Oral Health
You should also know that a lost filling can have a significant impact on your overall oral health. It can shift your biting dynamics, which leads to misalignment or discomfort. Additionally, the void left by the lost filling can create hard-to-reach areas that are challenging to clean, increasing the risk of plaque buildup and gum disease.
How to Protect Your Dental Fillings
You need to learn proper dental care and maintenance to extend the life of your dental fillings. To avoid fillings from loosening or falling out, practice the following preventive measures:
- Maintain Good Oral Hygiene. You should brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily to prevent decay around the edges of the filling.
- Regular Dental Check-Ups. Visit your dental professional regularly for professional cleanings and to check the integrity of your fillings.
- Mind Your Diet. Limit sugary and acidic foods that can erode enamel and affect the longevity of your fillings.
- Avoid Hard Foods and Objects. Chewing on hard candies, ice, or non-food items can cause your fillings to crack or dislodge.
- Wear a Mouthguard. If you grind your teeth at night, you should talk to your dentist about a mouthguard to protect your fillings from excessive pressure.
Visit Shoreline Dental Care for Emergency Dental Filling Treatments
If you’re still asking yourself, “Is a lost filling a dental emergency?” Yes, it is a dental emergency, and you should have it treated by a dentist as soon as possible. You shouldn’t panic when your dental filling falls out because it may worsen your problem. What you need to do is to contact a dentist to guide you through the steps in resolving a dental emergency like this.
If you still don’t know who to call, remember that Shoreline Dental Care is here. Our team of compassionate professionals can offer you quality emergency dentistry when you need it most. Don’t let anxiety over a lost filling escalate into a bigger issue.
If you’re ever near West Haven or Milford in Connecticut, and you find yourself asking, “Is losing a filling an emergency?” contact Shoreline Dental Care immediately. We’ll go above and beyond to provide swift and comprehensive care for your oral health.