Fillings don’t last forever. They can become discolored. Composite, tooth-colored fillings pick up stains, and yellow or darken over time. When you chew, your teeth and any fillings in them are subjected to tremendous pressures. Even if no other problems develop, some fillings will wear out over time and will need to be replaced. A filling will need to be replaced earlier if it falls out, leaks or cracks.
Bacteria and bits of food can seep down under a filling that is cracked or leaking. Since you can’t clean there, the bacteria feed on the bits of food and form the acid that causes tooth decay. Decay under a filling can become extensive before you notice it or it causes you pain. This is why you should have your fillings checked regularly and get them replaced when problems are found.
Fillings That Fall Out
Fillings can fall out for several reasons:
- You bite down too hard on a tooth that has a large filling, and break the filling or the tooth.
- The filling material that was used cannot withstand the forces placed upon it. For example, if you have broken a large piece of your front tooth, a porcelain (tooth-colored) crown is probably a good treatment choice. In some cases, a dentist may place a composite filling instead. This may look good or acceptable. However, if the composite is too large, a strong biting motion may break the plastic material.
- Saliva gets into the cavity when the filling is placed. For composite resins, this will disrupt the bonding of the material. As a result, the bond will not stick well to the tooth and it may fall out.
Both amalgam and composite fillings can crack, either soon after they are placed or after the fillings have been in place for some time.
Cracks can occur soon after a filling is placed if the filling is higher than the rest of the tooth surface, and must bear most of the force of biting. Cracks also can occur over time, as the forces from chewing and biting affect the filling and the restored tooth.
Small cracks also can occur at the edges of a filling. These usually are caused by wear over time. These cracks often can be repaired.
If you suspect you might be in need of a filling, contact us today for a free dental consultation. To learn more about replacing a filling visit, https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-health-fillings#1.