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Common Signs a Filling Has Fallen Out

Woman smiling at Grand Rapids MI dentists

Woman smiling at Grand Rapids MI dentists

Cavities happen. Fortunately, our Grand Rapids dentists can use tooth-colored fillings to treat them and restore your smile. While fillings are built to stay in place for quite some time, they can fall out under certain circumstances.

Here are 4 signs that can mean your filling has fallen out, the possible underlying causes, and what to do next.

Why Would a Filling Come Loose?

A tooth filling can come loose for a variety of reasons. Potential causes can range from a new cavity that’s developed under or around the filling to teeth grinding at night. Whatever it ends up being, you’re left with the same result and should see one of our dentists so we can replace the filling.

Other reasons for a loose/absent filling may include:

  • Trauma, accidents, and facial injuries
  • Consumption of hard, sticky, or crunchy foods
  • Hard chewing while eating
  • Chemical reaction that affects the bond of the filling to the tooth

More often than not, it’s obvious when a filling starts to loosen up or falls out. For instance, some patients notice while they’re eating, brushing their teeth, or flossing. Still, it’s not always apparent, especially if the filling is small to begin with.

Your Tooth Filling May Have Fallen Out if You:

1. Feel Sudden Pain

Without a filling in place, your treated tooth is vulnerable. More specifically, the tissues underneath the lost filling are now exposed to outside factors like air, pressure, cold, and heat. This can lead to out-of-the-blue tooth pain when you least expect for it to happen.

Though it can be disconcerting, you don’t need to panic when a filling falls out. What you do need to do is call our Grand Rapids dental office and schedule a time where you can have the filling repaired by our dentists. You can also take over-the-counter pain medication as needed if the discomfort is hard to ignore.

2. Notice a Crack or Hole in Your Tooth

If you take a look in the mirror while opening your mouth and see a noticeable hole or crack in your tooth, odds are you lost your filling. You should also be able to feel with your tongue where the filling once was.

Until you can be seen by one of our dentists, we recommend gargling with salt water to reduce any inflammation or bacteria buildup. Try mixing a half teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of warm water and swish it around for 30 seconds before spitting it out. For extra protection, apply dental wax to temporarily fill the exposed hole or crack.

3. Experience Sensitivity to Hot and Cold Foods or Drinks

As mentioned before, without a filling, the inner portion of your tooth is susceptible to cold and heat. That means when you take a sip of that morning coffee or enjoy some ice cream, you might notice some heightened sensitivity.

Try avoiding foods or drinks that may irritate your tooth until your appointment. It’s also a good idea to not chew on the side where your affected tooth is located. We will do our best to have you come in as soon as possible so you’re not uncomfortable for long.

4. Find That Food Gets Trapped Where the Filling Should Be

Sometimes food can become stuck in your teeth after a meal or snack. It’s no different when a filling is missing. If you notice that bits of food are getting trapped in the exact same spot where your filling is, it could be because it’s gone. Call our Grand Rapids office and we’ll quickly replace your lost filling.

Have Your Tooth Restored With a New Filling

Don’t wait around, get in contact with our dentists in Grand Rapids, MI, today! We’ll examine the tooth, clean the area, and place a tooth-colored filling so you can enjoy a seamless smile. Call Contemporary Family Dental at (616) 209-3969 to schedule an appointment or contact us online.