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Back 29 March 2018

Common Signs You Need Fillings

Taking care of your dental hygiene is a big part of your overall health. Besides a regular brushing and flossing routine, it is important to watch out for signs and symptoms that may suggest the need for dental fillings. Undiagnosed dental problems can become a huge problem later in your life, and can keep adding to dental decay for years. In this post, we discuss some of the common signs and symptoms that indicate you may need a filling for your tooth. 

What is a Dental Filling?

Tooth fillings are materials that bond to your teeth, are made from non toxic substances that are put onto your teeth to restore a hole in your tooth, or to repair a chipped tooth and return it to its original shape. there are usually three types of fillings that dentists work with; they are composite and GIC (Glass ionomer cement) and are white in colour, and a third type is called amalgam which is a silver coloured filling material. Fillings can last a long time, if the need for them is detected early and they are taken care of after the procedure. Smaller fillings tend to generally last more time, while bigger fillings may need more precision to place. 

When do You Need a Filling?

There can be several reasons why you may need a tooth filling. Some of the common signs are experiencing sensitivity while drinking or eating very hot or cold liquids and foods, such as iced drinks or icecream. You may also have a toothache that gets worse with time, and makes it difficult to bite or chew. The pain sometimes extends to your gums, and swelling may accompany it. The dentist will often ask you about the intensity of the pain, and the frequency as well. Sometimes, painkillers help to temporarily relieve the pain. Tooth decay can affect your teeth severely, if it is not addressed in time. Tooth decay affects the layers of your teeth and is caused by acids in the plaque biofilm sitting on your teeth. Dental decay if in small amounts is in most cases always treated with a filling to avoid further progression of the cavity. Serious decay however requires more complex treatments - if the nerve is involved a root canal treatment or extraction is required.  Bigger carious lesions can be restored with either a bigger filling, overlay or crown. 

Other Reasons Why You May Need a Filling

Apart from the most common reasons such as toothache from tooth decay, or sensitivity while biting or chewing that require you to consult a dentist and perhaps having a filling, there may be other factors such as a hole or a gap in your teeth that seems to increase with time, dark spots that you may notice, food impaction (food getting stuck between your teeth), rough or fractured teeth and floss that keeps tearing everytime you use it in a particular spot. You may also need to redo a lost or broken filling so consult your dentist for the same.

Make sure you are aware of these signs and symptoms that may require a filling and work your way to a beautiful smile!