What Happens When You Lose a Filling?

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Having a cavity filled is a necessary procedure that is unfortunately very expensive and sometimes a little painful. However, fillings are not full-proof and can often fall out from eating certain foods that jostle it out of your tooth. In some instances, you may not even realize that you have lost a filling and may have even swallowed it. In the end, losing a filling isn't a major immediate emergency, but it should not be ignored.

When It Comes Out

  • If you realize your filling has come out when it has happened and you haven't already swallowed it, you should remove it from your mouth to prevent yourself from swallowing it. If you have swallowed it, it usually passes through your system without a problem. However, if you swallow it and you breathe it into your lungs, it could cause an infection.

Call Your Dentist

  • You should call your dentist as soon as you lose your filling if it's within business hours to make a new appointment as soon as possible to replace the filling. If you recently got the filling or it was recently replaced, your dentist should replace it for free especially if it was an issue with the bonding of the filling when it was being put in.

Keeping it Clean

  • If you are not able to get to your dentist that day to have it refilled, you will need to keep that area of your tooth really clean. The cavity that was filled is now exposed again and could worsen or feel really sensitive. Brush your teeth carefully making sure to remove any food debris from the cavity so that harmful bacteria does not accumulate.

Pain

  • Your tooth may be sensitive after you lose your filing. This may be caused by exposed dentin tubules, which are tiny pathways of communication between the dentin and the pulp of your tooth. The dentin tubules provide a direct pathway from the inside of your mouth to your tooth. If you do feel pain, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen, Advil or Tylenol.

References

  • Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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