5 Signs You May Need a Tooth Filling

Posted on 01/03/2019
Tooth Filling
It's not always super obvious when you need a tooth filling. Read on to learn the top five signs you need a tooth filling.

Keyword(s): tooth filling

Most people are not fans of getting a filling, even though it's one of the most common dental procedures. 92% of American adults have cavities or fillings in their permanent teeth.

Fillings are necessary, however, to remove a cavity from a tooth and make it strong and healthy again so we can enjoy eating and chewing. They prevent decay from spreading and when white composite fillings are used, make teeth look beautiful and natural again. Dental fillings are painless and a routine part of general dentistry.

There are actually a few ways of knowing you need a filling even before a dentist examines you. Here are the top five signs you may need a tooth filling.

1. You Can See a Cavity

If you can actually see an area of decay on your tooth, you need to visit your dentist right away to have it examined. A dark spot can indicate a cavity, even if it doesn't look like a hole yet.

Some cavities are so tiny they can't be easily detected by the naked eye, but an actual hole that big enough to see or feel with your tongue definitely requires a filling.

2. Your Tooth Hurts

Don't put off seeing a dentist if you have a toothache or any kind of tooth pain. Whether the pain is steady or comes and goes usually indicates a problem that should be dealt with right away.

Not all tooth pain is caused by a cavity, but decay that has spread to the pulp is a common cause of toothaches. When this happens the tooth will require root canal treatment which is a little more involved than a filling. Seeing a dentist as soon as you experience any kind of pain may help prevent the need for a root canal.

3. Your Tooth is Sensitive

A tooth that is sensitive to hot and cold foods and liquids may also indicate a cavity that needs to be filled. Decay makes teeth more sensitive as it allows heat and cold to penetrate the tooth more.

4. You've Lost a Filling

If a filling comes loose or falls out, see your dentist right away. A tooth that has lost a filling is now weaker and susceptible to breaking. It can also develop decay if the filling is not replaced in a timely manner.

You should also visit your dentist every six months so they can examine your current dental work and make sure fillings and crowns are in good shape. When dental fillings and crowns get older they can pull away from the tooth and allow bacteria and decay to thrive.

5. Your Tooth is Chipped or Cracked

Depending on how small the damage is, a chipped or cracked tooth can sometimes be repaired with a filling. Your dentist will examine it to recommend the best course of treatment for repairing the tooth.

Do You Need a Tooth Filling? Schedule an Appointment With Us

If you think you may need a tooth filling, you should see a dentist as soon as possible. Filling a cavity while it's small can prevent pain and the need for a more costly procedure. 

Dr. Yvette Gaya has over 20 years of dental experience including general dentistry procedures such as performing fillings. Contact us for an appointment. We look forward to helping you keep your smile healthy and strong!