There’s nothing quite like that feeling of realizing you just lost a dental filling. You’re munching away on your favorite snack when you feel a chunk of something very hard in your mouth. Panic ensues as you realize a dental filling fell out.
First, don’t panic. A dentist can repair your tooth quite easily. In the meantime, you should care for the tooth by following a few basic steps.
By the time you finish reading this article, you will know what to do if you ever have a dental filling fall out.
Call a Dentist
First and foremost, call a dentist and make an appointment to have your tooth examined and repaired. You may have lost the dental filling because of some underlying tooth decay. Thus you’ll need to do more than just have a filling replaced.
Tell the dentist what happened, and ask if they can see you as soon as possible. A missing filling will leave your tooth exposed to bacteria and ultimately infection. Such an infection can lead to more dental services such as a dental extraction as well as some significant discomfort.
If you begin to develop tooth infection symptoms as you wait, contact your dentist immediately. Such symptoms indicate a bigger problem than a missing filling.
Protect the Tooth
As you wait for your appointment, protect your tooth. Avoid chewing on the side that has the missing filing. You now have an exposed tooth as well as a fragile tooth, so keep food away from it as much as possible.
Also, keep the tooth clean by gargling with warm salt water for 30 seconds periodically. This will reduce your inflammation and prevent bacteria from building up on the tooth.
Use over-the-counter pain medicine like teething gels to relieve your pain as well.
Things to Avoid
As you’re waiting for your appointment, you can protect your tooth by avoiding certain activities. While you want to avoid the tooth that is missing a filling, you should chew your food on the opposite side of your missing filling. This can put undue stress on that side of your mouth.
Stick with soft foods until you can see a dentist. Hard foods will damage the tooth further and put undue stress on your other teeth. Never chew ice, even when you don’t have a damaged tooth.
Also, avoid grinding or clenching your teeth. Use a rubber mouth guard at night if you tend to grind your teeth in your sleep. Such behavior can also damage your tooth further.
As much as you may want to, avoid touching the affected area. Your hands will introduce bacteria to your mouth. You need to keep that area as clean as possible.
Preventing Lost Fillings
Losing a filling often stems from poor personal dental hygiene. Care well for your gums and teeth to prevent losing a filling. Brush your teeth twice a day, and floss at least once a day.
Visit the dentist regularly for checkups and teeth cleanings. You should be seeing a dentist every six months. If you grind or clench your teeth, ask about a custom night guard to protect your teeth.
Seek Help If a Dental Filling Fell Out
Don’t panic when you realize a dental filling fell out. Your behavior immediately after this incident will determine the longevity of your tooth. Call a dentist immediately, and then protect the tooth until your dental appointment.
Do you need dental care? If so, contact us. Our staff is ready to help boost your oral health today.