Fillings are generally used to repair cavities and chips in tooth enamel. Even though they are intended to repair the tooth for many years, no filling can last forever. In time, the bacteria living in your mouth can infiltrate the space between the filling and the healthy tooth enamel. This is even more likely to occur if you struggle to maintain good oral hygiene.
The larger and older a filling is, the more likely it is to have trouble. Sometimes you can notice an overt symptom that one of your fillings is about to go bad. Catching it early can improve your repair and treatment options.
Suspicious fillings often have a sharp pain when biting down or chewing on that 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. You should also beware a filling that causes heightened sensitivity when you consume cold, hot, sweet, or acidic things.
A gray discoloration forming in the nearby tooth enamel is a telltale sign that bacteria have invaded the seam between the filling and the healthy tooth enamel. Much of the cement has likely been compromised and there is serious potential for new decay to set in.
Sometimes Dr. Greg Cook can replace a small bad filling with a fresh new one. Unfortunately, if the filling was large or if the tooth suffers from a new area of decay, it might call for having the entire tooth enamel layer replaced by a dental crown.
If you suspect you have a bad dental filling in Alcoa, Tennessee, you should not delay in calling 865-379-7555 to have it examined and treated at our office.