What Should You Do If Your Filling Falls Out?

If your tooth filling has become loose or it fell out, there’s no need to panic—replacing a filling is a simple procedure. Keep in mind that treating broken and missing fillings sooner rather than later will prevent complications. At Lifetime Family Dental, we can quickly and gently treat a variety of dental emergencies. Read on to learn exactly what to do if your filling loosens or falls out. 

Signs That a Filling Is Loose or Fell Out

Broken and loose tooth fillings can be just as painful as a filling that fell out, and both situations require a new filling as soon as possible. When a dental filling breaks, loosens, or falls out, it exposes the vulnerable insides of your teeth that are extra sensitive to heat, cold, and pressure. It’s not always obvious when a filling breaks or falls out, so don’t ignore any of the following signs and symptoms.

Signs of a loose, broken, or missing filling include:

  • Sudden pain that doesn’t go away
  • Changes in the position of your filling
  • A hole or crack in your tooth where the filling had been
  • Feeling a hard object in your mouth after biting or chewing
  • Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, pressure, air, and/or sugary foods

What to Do When You’ve Lost a Filling

If you have a loose or missing filling, treating it as soon as possible will eliminate your pain and protect your tooth from further damage. The first thing you should do is schedule an appointment with your dentist. If you can, preserve your filling in a sealed container and bring it to your appointment to see if we can reuse it. Don’t worry if you don’t have the filling—you’ll still get a new one. 

Even if you don’t feel any pain, you should never ignore a broken or loose filling. Delaying treatment leaves your tooth vulnerable to decay and infections, which can lead to serious complications like an abscess, a broken tooth, or tooth loss.

What If You Can’t See a Dentist Right Away?

It may not always be possible to see your dentist immediately after your filling fell out. As you wait for your appointment, there are few steps you can take to reduce your pain and protect your tooth. Make sure to keep the area clean and avoid chewing on the side of your mouth with the missing or loose filling. If your pain is severe, taking over-the-counter pain medication as instructed can help reduce your discomfort. 

Above all, you should maintain good oral hygiene to protect the affected tooth from bacteria. When brushing your teeth, brush very gently over the tooth that’s missing the filling. Rinsing with saltwater at least two times a day will also remove any bits of food that may have gotten stuck where the filling fell out, but avoid swishing to prevent irritating the area. 

How to Prevent a Filling from Falling Out

Fillings should last about 10 years, but there are plenty of things that can cause a filing to break or fall out sooner. If you’ve just received a new or replacement filling, it’s important to take excellent care of it so that it lasts as long as possible. 

Take care of your filling by:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily
  • Replacing your toothbrush every three months
  • Treating harmful habits such teeth grinding, nail biting, and teeth clenching
  • Avoiding chewing on hard objects such as ice, pencils, or pens
  • Limiting your intake of sugary foods
  • Scheduling regular visits to your dentist

Emergency Dental Services in Gilbert

The best way to protect your teeth after your filling fell out is to visit your dentist for a replacement. At Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert, Arizona, we offer extensive emergency care for urgent dental issues. Call 480-558-4331 today to schedule an appointment.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (8/20/2021). Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels