5 Signs That it May be Time to Replace a Dental Filling

If you are like the majority of our patients, you may not even know that dental fillings aren’t made to last a lifetime. While they are durable, they do start to deteriorate over time, and in doing so, no longer serve their purpose of protecting your teeth and your gums. In fact, if you suspect filling damage or erosion, your North Burlington dental team suggest making an appointment quickly to prevent further damage caused by decay.  

The good news is that now you know to pay attention, you can be proactive about your dental health. Proactive dental care is the best dental care, so here are five signs that might indicate that it is time to check or replace a filling.

  1. Tooth Sensitivity: Does the thought of taking a cold drink of water make you cringe? Don’t ignore that sign, it is often an indicator of a possible issue… and it may point to an old filling in need of replacement.
  2. Pain: Fillings help protect our teeth and when they start to erode, it leaves our teeth and our nerves exposed and vulnerable. Sharp or throbbing pain could be an indication that a filling has deteriorated and is no longer doing its job.
  3. Cracks / Sharpness: When you run your tongue along your teeth do you feel any sharpness? While not all cracks are visible to the naked eye, your dentist will notice critical erosion during their exam and with the help of x-rays. Cracks are particularly concerning as even the most minimal opening can let in bacteria, which can lead to further decay below the filling itself.
  4. Discolouration: It may just be that your older filling is now showing signs of yellowing or staining. Replacing any discoloured fillings will restore your bright smile.
  5. Old Fillings: If you can’t remember when you got your fillings, it might be worth asking your dentist to take a look.

Prolong the Life of Your Dental Fillings – Tips from Your North Burlington Dentist

The longevity of your fillings is dependent upon a number of factors. While we expect to see general wear on fillings from the constant stress of eating and drinking, you may experience more aggressive erosion if you tend to grind or clench your teeth. Consider the following tips to help prolong the health of your fillings:

  • Avoid eating extremely hard items, such as ice, hard candy
  • Avoid using your teeth as a tool – i.e. to open bottle tops
  • Practice meditation in times of stress, or at the very least, be mindful of jaw and teeth clenching when stressed and work to release the pressure
  • Consider wearing a guard at night to protect teeth from grinding
  • And of course, practice proper brushing and flossing

Now that you know the signs to watch for, take time to talk with your dentist about the health of your fillings. Your North Burlington dental team at Teeth R Us Dental Centre will be able to talk you through any corrections that you may require or help guide you on protecting the dental fillings you already have. The more you know, the better you can participate in your dental health journey. After all, these are your teeth and we want to keep you smiling for years to come.