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Problems With Dental Fillings

Tooth sensitivity following placement of a filling is fairly common. A tooth may be sensitive to pressure, air, sweet foods, or temperature. Usually, the sensitivity resolves on its own within a few weeks. During this time, avoid those things that are causing the sensitivity. Pain relievers are generally not required.

Contact your dentist if the sensitivity does not subside within two to four weeks or if your tooth is extremely sensitive. He or she may recommend you use a desensitizing toothpaste, may apply a desensitizing agent to the tooth, or possibly suggest a root canal procedure.

Recommended Related to Oral Health

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Pain Around Fillings:

There are several explanations for pain around fillings, each resulting from a different cause.

  1. Pain when you bite. This type of pain occurs when you bite down. The pain is noticed soon after the anesthesia wears off and continues over time. In this case, the filling is interfering with your bite. You will need to return to your dentist and have the filling reshaped.
  2. Pain when your teeth touch. This pain is a very sharp pain that occurs only when your teeth touch. The pain is likely caused by the touching of two different metal surfaces (for example, the silver amalgam in a newly filled tooth and a gold crown on another tooth with which it touches). This pain should resolve on its own within a short period of time.
  3. "Toothache-type" pain. If the decay was very deep to the pulp of the tooth, this "toothache" response may indicate this tissue is no longer healthy. If this is the case, "root canal" treatment will be required.
  4. Referred pain. This is pain or sensitivity in other teeth besides the one that received the filling. With this particular pain, there is likely nothing wrong with your teeth. The filled tooth is simply passing along "pain signals" it's receiving to other teeth. This pain should decrease on its own over one to two weeks.

Allergic Reactions to Amalgam (Silver) Fillings

Allergic reactions to silver fillings are rare. Fewer than 100 cases have ever been reported, according to the American Dental Association. In these rare circumstances, mercury or one of the metals used in an amalgam restoration is thought to trigger the allergic response. Symptoms of amalgam allergy are similar to those experienced in a typical skin allergy and include skin rashes and itching. Patients who suffer amalgam allergies typically have a medical or family history of allergies to metals. Once an allergy is confirmed, another restorative material can be used.

Deteriorating Fillings

Constant pressure from chewing, grinding, or clenching can cause dental fillings to wear away, chip, or crack. Although you may not be able to tell that your filling is wearing down, your dentist can identify weaknesses in your restorations during a regular check-up.

If the seal between the tooth enamel and the filling breaks down, food particles and decay-causing bacteria can work their way under the filling. You then run the risk of developing additional decay in that tooth. Decay that is left untreated can progress to infect the dental pulp and may cause an abscessed tooth.

If the filling is large or the recurrent decay is extensive, there may not be enough tooth structure remaining to support a replacement filling. In these cases, your dentist may need to replace the filling with a crown.

New fillings that fall out are probably the result of improper cavity preparation, contamination of the preparation prior to placement of the restoration, or a fracture of the restoration from bite or chewing trauma. Older restorations will generally be lost due to decay or fracturing of the remaining tooth.

 

 


 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Elverne M Tonn, DDS on June 03, 2012

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Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

SOURCES:

American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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