Actions to Take If You Have a Loose Filling

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Placing fillings is the most popular dental procedure because cavities (aka dental caries) are second only to the common cold as a frequent health problem. They occur because most people were never taught the proper way to brush and floss.

It starts with using a soft brush and stroking from the gum line towards the open mouth (up for the lower arch, down for the upper arch) for a full two minutes after breakfast and lunch, the odds are you will be leaving tiny food particles on the teeth and gums. Flossing helps if it is done thoroughly, making sure the string rubs against both sides of a tooth. Bacteria are attracted to any remaining particles, as well as residue of beverages, and within a few days this results in a sticky film called plaque. Eventually, this hardens into tartar, which is very difficult to remove except by a dental hygienist.

Bacteria can eat away the enamel, the hard outer surface, and the second protective layer, dentin, which is softer. Frequent acid reflux can also erode these so that bacteria enters the tooth. At first, caries do not cause pain, but if not removed and the cavity replaced with a dental filling, you might end up with the need for emergency treatment.

Today, fillings are usually made from an inexpensive tooth-colored composite resin . For large cavities, these are known as inlays or onlays and need to be created to fit the space. Dental porcelain is another popular material that lasts much longer and resists stains better, but requires a dental lab for crafting and a return visit to the dentist to place it.

But no filling is permanent. There are many things that can cause a filling to come loose, including using teeth to open packages or pull off bottle caps, biting down on hard things like ice or nuts,  or just wear-and-wear over time. Immediately set an appointment with Lotus Family Dental. If the tooth is painful, put a dab of clove oil on it to numb the feeling. You do not have to let fear or anxiety delay treatment. If the filling is very loose, you may want to buy dental cement that is available at pharmacies (if it has fallen out, you might provide a temporary filling with sugar-free gum). Stay away from sugary foods before the appointment and keep your mouth clean, chewing on the opposite side of the mouth. 

Having a full dental exam every six months is the best way to detect loosening fillings and other developing problems before they become serious.

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