Fillings are typically used by Dr. Erpenbach to repair chips or small cavities. They are often made from decay-resistant materials like porcelain, composite resin, and, on occasion, amalgam. However, as time goes by, the pervasive bacteria in your mouth can slowly start to weaken the bond between the filling and the surrounding tooth enamel. This is even more likely to be a problem if you have poor oral hygiene practices or a bad habit of skipping your twice-annual dental checkups.
Why Fillings Go Bad
The larger and older a filling is, the more likely it is to fail. This is often a result of the bacteria in your mouth infiltrating the microscopic seam between the filling and the adjacent tooth enamel.
One common symptom of a filling that’s having trouble is a sharp pain when biting down or chewing on that single tooth. This could also be associated with a change in texture, especially if the filling is on the lingual side of the tooth near your tongue.
The Harmful Effects of a Bad Filling
If you suspect you have a bad filling, don’t ignore it as it may do more harm than good inside your mouth.
According to research published in the Journal of Dentistry, a bad or worn out dental filling can increase tooth decay, infection, and mean more fillings will be needed, particularly on neighboring teeth.
Dental Fillings Still a Necessity
Despite the risk of having a filling go bad, fillings are still a necessity for some patients as there is no other solution, other than replacement, to repair a decayed tooth. They also say patients need to be particularly careful about taking care of their teeth after a filling, reducing sugar intake and brushing properly.
In the meantime, dental offices are being urged to follow the minimally invasive dental approach for treatments, as practiced here at the Knoxville Dentist office of Dr. James Erpenbach. This careful, delicate form of filling treatment uses minimal intervention to reduce the chance of damaging teeth.