Signs of a Cavity Under a Filling
Signs of a Cavity Under a Filling
Everybody has had at least one tooth filled during the course of his/her life. Dental fillings are the most common dental procedure made, aside from tooth cleaning and scaling. The science of fillings has developed greatly over the years not only in techniques and ease of the procedure but in materials as well, wherein the old days your dentist would use amalgam fillings (which is the greyish silver filling most of us have) or even gold shavings, but nowadays, tooth-colored fillings are the gold standard of the science and industry. The development of the techniques and materials has made placing a dental filling no longer a simple procedure, but a form of art.
Unfortunately, however, dental fillings are not designed to last a lifetime. We asked our friend, Dr. Matt Laurich, a Dentist in Livonia MI to weigh in on his take on the longevity of dental fillings. He says properly made fillings typically last anywhere from 5 to 15 years, but would eventually need to be replaced since they tend to leak and a cavity under the filling is a very common finding. In his experience, regular dental cleaning visits will prevent more serious issues from coming up.
So what are the signs that you should look out for?
There are many signs that your filling is starting to fail. Your Greely CO dentist, Dr. Taher Dhoon, shares his opinions on the matter:
Pain from a filled tooth
A filled tooth, especially one that has been filled for a long time, is not supposed to be painful. Even minor pain such as pain with hot and cold food and drinks and pain on chewing is a sign that your filling needs another look.
The visible cavity in the tooth
If you look inside your mouth and find a hole instead of the filling seamlessly blending with the tooth, it could be a sign that your filling is starting to leak. It could also mean that a part of the filling or the tooth has broken off, so anyway your filling would need to be checked.
Tooth changing color
This is particularly evident with tooth colored fillings. These fillings are supposed to be completely invisible as they are the same shape and color of the original tooth. So if you spot a change in color, this means that the filling has leaked and the bacteria and food remnants are starting to build up in that microcrack between the tooth and the filling, and this filling would need to be changed soon.
My tooth filling has fallen out completely
This is classified as a dental emergency. When a tooth filling falls out, which could happen if you have an affinity for sweet and sticky food, you should give us a call at Greely Dental Care at once, as you would not only start to feel pain and sensitivity, but that empty tooth would gather up food remnants and bacteria, and since there is no protective layer, decay could develop pretty quickly.
Food impact on past dental work
This could be a sign that the part of the filling that is supposed to be contacting the neighboring tooth, protecting the gums from food impaction and trauma, has broken off. While this may not cause significant pain and is often dismissed, it is a dangerous condition since gum inflammation and pockets mat start to develop, and these are far more difficult to treat than to simply replace the defective filling.
Swelling in my gums
This is a definite sign of leakage, and this filling would need to be changed at once. Not only that, but that tooth would probably need a root canal as well since swelling is a sign that an abscess is formed and that can only be treated with root canals.