Just like a patch on a pair of jeans, fillings can begin to wear out. Knowing when to replace them can keep your underlying tooth as healthy as possible, and limit the size of the filling that is taking its place.
Here are 3 signs to look for when you think it might be time to have your filling changed out:
1) Your tooth feels sensitive
Suddenly experiencing changes in temperature or feeling sensitive to sweet drinks or foods (something as simple as sweetened tea or coffee) is a sign that new tooth decay is developing around the filling and that the restoration should be replaced. This sensitivity is often specific to that particular tooth, and not a generalized sensation felt across the mouth.
2) You notice discoloration around the filling
Over time, the margins of your filling may begin to leak or creep away from the tooth. At this time you might start noticing discoloration of the tooth surrounding the filling, caused by stain that is seeping into the tooth or a breakdown of silver fillings.
3) Food is packing around the tooth
If leakage of the filling is taking place, you might start feeling food catch between or inside of the tooth after each meal. A space this large means that you need to have it looked at in a timely manner, so that underlying tooth structure isn’t damaged.
It’s best to replace your fillings when the earliest signs of wear are beginning to show, so that complications like cavities, fractures, or breakage to the healthy portion of your tooth doesn’t occur. Ask us about fillings that you might need to start watching or planning to replace in the next year or two.