If you have a cavity or cracked tooth, your dentist may put in a filling to correct the situation. A filling is one of the most common procedures a dentist performs, and it helps to maintain the health of your teeth. But what if the filling falls out?

Don’t panic. Fillings don’t last forever, and your dentist will be able to fix the problem. Here are the steps you should take if you have just lost a filling:

Call Your Dentist

Call your dentist and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Try to get the earliest appointment you can, especially if you are in pain. If you can’t get an appointment right away, ask your doctor about how you can protect your tooth in the meantime and keep any pain away.

Your dentist may recommend using a dental wax or temporary filling material to keep the area covered until you can get into the dental chair. There are a variety of options online that can help keep the area stable and clean.

Rinse with Salt Water

Rinse your mouth with salt water every day, especially targeting the area of your mouth where your filling was. The salt water kills harmful oral bacteria. This will protect the vulnerable area of your exposed tooth from decay or infection.

Brush the Area Gently

Maintain a good dental hygiene regimen, while being gentle with your tooth. You don’t want to damage the tooth or cause pain to yourself, but it is also important to keep the tooth clean to prevent food from getting into your opening or bacteria from forming. Brush and floss at least twice daily.

What if I’m in Pain From a Lost Filling?

Sensitivity or mild pain is normal if you’ve lost a filling. To relieve pain, you can:

  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Apply a cold compress to your mouth for 15 minutes at a time
  • Use a topical numbing agent, like Anbesol or Orajel, to temporarily numb the exposed area

If I Lost a Filling, Will It Cause Complications?

If not replaced within a few days, your missing filling could cause problems for your tooth. Remember, the reason the filling is there is because there was tooth decay. Left exposed, food and bacteria can work their way into the tooth gap and cause further decay, which can damage your tooth even more. That’s why — pain or not — it’s important to get the problem taken care of right away.

How Can I Prevent My Filling from Falling Out in the Future?

First and foremost, a good cleaning routine is the most important step for extending the life of your filling. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily (and remember to brush your tongue too — this helps get rid of harmful oral bacteria that can infect your teeth).

But at-home care can’t do it all. You should see your dentist regularly for cleanings. Not only will you prevent future decay, but your dentist can also regularly check your existing fillings. When they find a loose filling, you can schedule a replacement rather than deal with an unexpected lost filling at home.

Even with a great brushing routine, things happen and your filling may come loose. Some common reasons that a filling can fall out are:

  • New decay forming around the filling
  • Biting into a hard food on the filling
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth
  • Trauma to the tooth from an injury or incident

You can’t avoid accidents or injuries, but prevention is the name of the game. A combination of good oral hygiene and being careful with your teeth in everyday situations is your best bet for keeping your fillings intact.

Where Can I Go to Have my Filling Fixed in Fort Worth?

If you have lost a filling, Smile Fort Worth has great dentists with years of knowledge and experience fixing this very problem. Drs. Harlin, Wilkinson, and Collins are Fort Worth’s trusted family dentists for fillings or any type of restorative dentistry. And with three dentists, we can see you quickly. Not only is that convenient for you, it’s also ideal for protecting the health and strength of your affected tooth.

Even if Smile Fort Worth did not put your filling in the first time, we’ll be happy to see you to repair your smile as good as new.

Contact Smile Fort Worth

If it’s been more than six months since your last appointment, schedule an appointment with Smile Fort Worth today.

Plan your next visit to our office.

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