A tooth filling is a small dental procedure that makes a big difference for your oral health. They’re pretty common, so there’s no need to worry if your dentist says you need a filling. Here are some of the most common reasons why dental patients might need a tooth filling.
To fill a cavity
The most common time you’ll need a filling is if you’ve had a cavity. Poor oral hygiene and a diet that’s high in sugar can lead to tooth decay, which leaves little holes behind known as cavities. Or the decayed portion of the tooth will need to be removed, which will also leave a gap or hole in the tooth. If these holes are left unfilled, they will collect food and bacteria, making further decay more likely. So, a filling is needed to maintain the health of the teeth.
To fix tooth damage
Cavities aren’t the only reason to need a filling, though. If you damage or fracture a tooth, there are various different remedies, including tooth replacement. If the damage is not too severe, then a tooth filling may be enough to both fix the cosmetic damage to the tooth and to maintain the integrity of the tooth, preventing it from becoming weaker.
To cover up discoloration
White fillings can also be used to cover up the effects of discoloration. Eating lots of sugary food and not brushing properly can cause your teeth to become discolored. Some food and drinks can also stain your teeth if you consume too much of them, including coffee, tea, and red wine. While it is a less common procedure, fillings can be used to resolve this problem.
To replace an old filling
Tooth fillings can last decades if they are looked after properly, but they are likely to need replacing eventually. If you chew lots of hard foods or chew on other objects like pens, or if you tend to grind your teeth in your sleep, then your fillings may become damaged much quicker. See your dentist as soon as possible if you notice any damage to your filling, as leaving it unchecked can lead to damage to your teeth.
Not cleaning your teeth and fillings enough and eating lots of sugary food may also lead to decay around the filling. In this case, a replacement filling or a crown may be required to get rid of the decay.
If you notice any of the above problems with your teeth, then book an appointment with your dentist to find out if they recommend a filling. For pain-free dentistry in Advance, NC, get in touch with Dr. Barabe to book an appointment today.