We know that fillings are ideal for repairing chips and 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 a patient’s 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 the patient has poor oral hygiene practices or a bad habit of skipping 6-month dental checkups.
Why Fillings Go Bad
The larger and older a filling is, the more likely it will fail. This is often a result of the bacteria in a patient’s mouth infiltrating the microscopic seam between the filling and the adjacent tooth enamel.
One common symptom of a filling that’s having trouble is 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
Patients need to be encouraged to speak up if they suspect they have a bad filling. Ignoring it will do more harm than good inside the mouth.
In fact, 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 Are Necessary
Despite the risk of having a filling go bad, fillings will remain a necessity for some patients as there is no other solution, other than replacement, to repair a decayed tooth. Patients with fillings also need to be particularly careful about taking care of their teeth, reducing sugar intake and brushing properly.
In the meantime, dental offices are being urged to follow the minimally invasive, biomimetic dental approach for treatments, as endorsed here at The Academy of Biomimetic Dentistry. Biomimetic Dentistry adheres to a careful, delicate form of filling treatment using minimal intervention to reduce the chance of damaging teeth.