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Signs You Need to Replace a Filling

Many of us have dental fillings in our smiles already. Dentists will give a patient a filling as part of treatment for a cavity. The dentist will remove decayed, damaged parts of a tooth and restore its structure with the filling.

The composite resin material of the filling blends beautifully into your tooth color for a natural finish. It is also durable, restoring oral function, and it creates a seal to prevent further harm to the tooth. However, the filling will wear down naturally over time. The treatment will not last forever, and you will eventually need a dentist to replace the worn dental filling.

Your dentist can evaluate the state of your filling during a routine check-up. But you can get a sense that you must get a new filling. Read on to find three symptoms you might notice if you need to replace an old dental filling.

Signs You Need to Replace a Filling

Tooth Sensitivity

A dental filling fills the hole in the surface of the tooth where a dentist has removed decayed enamel. The seal that the filling creates over the hole will shield the vulnerable inner layers of the tooth that would otherwise be exposed. The inner dentin layer contains nerves that will transmit pain signals to the brain if stimulated.

So if you bite into food and feel a sharp pain, this means that the nerves are exposed once again in the tooth. The tooth sensitivity pain, though intermittent, should not be ignored. This means that the filling is no longer doing its job to protect the tooth, and you will need a new one.

Pain of any kind is abnormal, and if you feel other types of pain, including a dull, constant ache, this may also indicate damage to your existing filling. Contact your dentist right away if you notice oral pain.

Changes in Tooth’s Appearance

You can also notice visible changes in your tooth or dental filling if the dental work requires replacement. For instance, dental discoloration might occur around the filling if it has worn down.

Dark brown or black spots on the tooth may indicate new decay. If you form a new cavity, this recurrent decay means bacteria can access the vulnerable part of your tooth due to an inefficient filling.

Filling Feels Damaged

If the dental filling feels different or damaged, it probably has sustained damage and now needs replacement. The dentist polishes the filling to fit the unique shape of your tooth and not disrupt your bite. So you can expect a smooth finish over the cusp of the tooth.

If you can feel a sharp edge to the filling when you run your tongue over it, then you should visit your dentist for an oral exam. You should do so if the filling feels loose in its place in the mouth as well.

An old filling might also manifest by feeling like a strange pressure when you chew. Give your dentist a call if you recognize changes or problems with your dental work to protect your oral health.