13 Signs You Need a Dental Filling

Did you know 91% of Americans over the age of 20 have had at least one cavity? These small holes or openings in your tooth are the result of permanent damage to the surface of your tooth, and they are a warning sign of tooth decay.

Cavities occur due to a variety of factors, including poor dental hygiene, sugary foods and drinks, bacteria, and more. Although most cavities are the result of lifestyle habits, some are also caused by genetics.

The best way to take care of a cavity is to use a dental filling to fill the holes. Without fillings, tooth decay will spread, the cavities will worsen, and you can experience irreparable damage to your tooth. In many cases, untreated cavities lead to tooth loss, either from the tooth falling out or from a recommended extraction.

Fortunately, most cavities don’t occur without any symptoms. As the cavity starts forming, you will experience several symptoms that act as warning signs. Paying attention to these warning signs can result in catching the problem early and avoiding tooth loss.

If you are wondering how to know if you need a dental filling, this short and simple guide is for you.

1. You Are Experiencing Tooth Sensitivity

One sign you need Dental fillings is tooth sensitivity. You might experience pain and/or sensitivity to hot or cold food and drinks. You might also experience sensitivity when eating surgery foods.

2. Your Tooth Is Throbbing With Pain

A clear sign you need a tooth filling is when your tooth suddenly starts throbbing in pain. While a toothache can be the result of a few problems, it’s also a warning sign of tooth decay. If one or more of your teeth are throbbing, contact your dentist right away.

3. You Notice a Hole in Your Tooth

One of the most obvious cavity signs is if you notice a hole in your tooth. An opening in your tooth is a sign of a cavity, which requires dental filling to repair. If you notice a cavity, schedule an appointment with your dentist.

4. Food Gets Stuck in the Same Tooth

Do you notice food always seems to be stuck in a certain tooth? Then you likely have a cavity. When there are holes or openings in your tooth, the food you eat will naturally get stuck in the extra space.

5. Chewing Is Painful

One of the many dental decay signs is pain while chewing your food. This can be caused by an infection in your tooth, that makes it painful to bite down on food. If chewing and/or biting is painful, you likely need dental fillings.

6. Your Tooth Is Chipped or Broken

If you notice your tooth is chipped or broken, you need a filling. Left untreated, a chipped or broken tooth increases your risk for an infection, which can spread throughout your mouth. In extreme cases, this infection can move into the rest of your body, causing life-threatening illnesses.

7. Your Dental Floss Is Tearing

One of the many signs you need a tooth filling is if your dental floss is tearing. This can be due to the jagged edge of the broken or chipped part of your tooth. Your dental floss may also tear due to a poorly placed filling that has an overhang and is catching and shredding the dental floss.

8. You Notice Craze-Lines on Your Tooth

Have you noticed faint lines on the surface of your teeth? These are craze-lines and they are hairline cracks in your teeth. While these thin cracks are usually harmless, they can be fixed with tooth-colored dental fillings or veneers.

9. You Experienced Trauma to the Mouth

If you have experienced trauma to the mouth, such as hitting your mouth or being hit in the mouth area, you likely need fillings. This type of trauma generally results in chipped or broken teeth. If you have experienced this trauma, contact your dentist for a check-up.

10. Your Filling Is Discolored

If you are wondering if you need a new filling, take a look at the color of your old filling. Discoloration can be the result of a variety of factors, such as age, staining from certain foods and drinks, smoking, dry mouth, and more. If you notice your fillings are discolored, consider a replacement.

11. Your Filling Is Old

A common sign you need a new filling the age of your current filling. Generally speaking, a filling will last approximately 10 – 12 years before you need to replace them. If your fillings are more than 12 years old, you likely need a replacement.

12. Your Filling Has Fallen Out

One of the signs you need a dental filling is if your old filling has fallen out. This can happen due to a variety of reasons, such as tooth decay around the filling, chewing too hard, grinding your teeth, eating hard foods, or trauma.

If your filling has fallen out, you are susceptible to infection, tooth decay, and many other problems. If notice your filling is no longer in your tooth, contact your dentist right away.

13. Your Filling Is Cracked

Another sign you need a new filling is if your current filling is cracked. This can be caused by clenching your jaw, eating crunchy foods, and general wear and tear.

Just like a missing filling, a cracked filling invites infection that can wreak havoc on your health. For this reason, make sure to visit your dentist if you have a cracked filling.

These Are the Signs You Need a Dental Filling

There are many symptoms you will experience when you need a dental filling.

You might notice your teeth are sensitive or they are suddenly throbbing. You might also notice a hole in your tooth, craze-lines, or food is always getting stuck in a certain tooth. If your filling is old, discolored, cracked, or has fallen out, you need a replacement.

If you notice any of these signs, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away.

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Read Also: The Telltale Signs of Tooth Enamel Erosion (and What to Do About It!)

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