How to Care for a Tooth when a Filling Falls Out

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Fillings are often used to treat cavities.
Fillings are often used to treat cavities. (Image: Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Dental fillings are used to fill holes in teeth and protect the tooth from further decay. If tissue inside the tooth is exposed, it can be painful, as the nerves are often exposed. If a dental filling falls out, the tooth is susceptible to pain and further damage. You can temporarily reduce the pain and risk of damage at home until you get to a dentist as soon as possible. These remedies also apply to dental crowns that fall out.

Things You'll Need

  • Dental cement
  • Clove oil
  • Cotton swab

Gently rinse your mouth with warm water. Do not use cold or hot water. Do not use a mouthwash, as this can be too painful.

Apply a small amount of dental cement to the tip of a sterile cotton swab and gently apply it to the top of the exposed tooth. This creates a seal to protect the tooth tissue and reduce pain. Go to the dentist as soon as possible for a proper repair.

Apply a small amount of clove oil with a cotton swab to the tooth to help sooth the pain and reduce sensitivity. This is useful if you do not have dental cement or you still experience significant pain even after applying the cement.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid eating hard or sticky foods, as they could get stuck or cause pain where the exposed nerve is located.
  • Only use dental cement designed specifically for teeth and dental applications. Do not use any other kind of cement.
  • Do not attempt to reinsert a filling.

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