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Being told you need a tooth filling by your dentist is not a fun experience. You may be a diligent tooth cleaner and wondering ‘what could I have done to avoid needing a filling?’ If that sounds like you, keep reading. In this post, we’ll go over the most common reasons why people need dental fillings.

Fillings are used to replace the natural tooth structure after it is fractured, broken, or damaged by tooth decay.

It’s important to know the different types of fillings, which are:

  • Amalgam fillings: These use a mixture of silver, tin, mercury, copper and zinc to create a strong filling material.
  • Composite resin: This is a white or tooth-coloured material that is often matched to the colour of your teeth. This is a much more aesthetic option compared to amalgam fillings.
  • Glass-ionomer cement: These fillings are tooth coloured but don’t last as long as composite resin. These are often used in areas without a lot of biting force or on baby teeth in kids.
  • Gold and porcelain fillings: These fillings are made from the laboratory by a dental technician/ceramist and can last a long time. While porcelain can be matched to the colour of the surrounding teeth, gold cannot.

Common Signs You Need a Dental Filling

The following signs likely mean you need a filling:

Tooth Sensitivity

If you’re experiencing increased tooth sensitivity, especially when you eat or drink something at hot or cold temperatures, it may be time for a trip to the dentist to get it checked out.

If you have an existing tooth filling, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures or sugary foods and beverages could mean your filling is damaged or cracked and needs to be repaired or replaced. These cracks allow bacteria to invade the space, which exposes the sensitive inner pulp and leads to discomfort and sensitivity. It’s very important to contact your dentist ASAP when you start experiencing sensitivity.

Your Floss Tears

If you’re noticing tears on your dental floss, it could mean you have a cavity that’s causing the floss to tear with its sharp edges.

Damage to a Previous Filling 

If you can feel or see that an old filling has fallen out, it’s important to head to your local dentist for a dental filling procedure before further damage to your teeth occurs.

A Visible Chip or Crack in Your Tooth

Depending on the size of your chip or crack, a filling can sometimes repair it, especially if there is a visible hole. Your dentist will examine your teeth and recommend the best dental treatment for your specific case. If the damage to your tooth is minor, a filling should do the trick. But a root canal is generally necessary for significant damage where the dental nerve has been affected.

Dark Spots on Your Tooth

Have you noticed a dark spot or spots on your tooth lately? That could be the start of a cavity! Any discolouration you notice while brushing is a sign that you have a cavity in its early stages. Call your dentist immediately for a check-up and x-rays so they can see underneath your tooth’s enamel to determine the cause of the discolouration and what can be done about it.

A White Line Where Your Tooth Meets your Gum

Sometimes cavities pop up along the gum line, known as a smooth surface cavity. These cavities are caused by dental plaque and are common in older people because, as we age, our gums recede, exposing the roots and leaving them more vulnerable to cavities, plaque and tooth decay.

Consistent Toothache

An ongoing toothache is a common sign of many dental health issues and should always be seen by a dentist, whether you are experiencing sharp pains or dull pains. Your dentist will take a look at the tooth that hurts and the surrounding teeth to determine whether fillings are needed and how soon you should have the procedure. Don’t write your pain off as “just a toothache.” If left untreated, it could develop into a much more serious issue. 

We Can Help

Although we may not be able to see inside our mouths as well as a dentist can, our bodies usually let us know when something is wrong. If you have been experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms or signs of dental discomfort, contact Dana Street Dental today. Our dentists are experienced in treating a wide array of cosmetic, general and emergency dental needs, including fillings. Don’t wait. Schedule your appointment with Dana Street Dental today.

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