How to Tell if You Need a Dental Filling

How to know if you need a dental filling?
18 Aug 2021

Cavities can be tricky little fellas. Some can exist without causing any noticeable issues, while others make it perfectly clear something is wrong. That’s why regular dental checkups are so important. They provide your dentist with the opportunity to spot cavities and tooth decay before you run into issues like pain and sensitivity. They can tell you when you need a filling, which is a restorative treatment that removes decay and repairs holes, cracks, and fractures.

Here, we offer 10 common signs that you might need a filling, so you don’t have to wait until your next dental checkup to find out!

  1. Sensitivity: This is a sign you won’t want to live with for too long. Constantly feeling a shooting pain or even mild sensitivity when you eat or drink is a possible sign you need a filling. The pain occurs from hot and cold foods, but can also happen when you eat something sweet, sour, or sticky.
  2. Pain: Pain is the next level of discomfort that is not necessarily caused by anything you do. Instead, it can come as a sharp pain at any time, or continue to throb endlessly. Pain is always a sign that something is wrong, so call your dentist and have it checked as soon as possible.
  3. Trouble chewing: If you find that your bite feels off when you chew, or it hurts to bite down, this can be a sign you need a filling.
  4. Discolouration: While not all issues are actually noticeable, if you see discolouration on one of your teeth, it could be a sign of decay.
  5. Feeling: If you find that your tongue is running across an unfamiliar area that feels rougher, or like there is an obvious crack or hole, then you should call your dentist right away, even if it is not causing pain or sensitivity.
  6. Floss tears: If you find that your floss tears or frays at a particular spot (hopefully, you do floss!), the damage could be caused by uneven surfaces that could indicate there is damage to that area of the tooth.
  7. Food between your teeth: Getting food caught in the same spot over and over again can increase risk for decay. You might not realize there is food there, and the debris can lead to cavities.
  8. Damaged filling: Fillings can shrink or get damaged over time. Older fillings or fillings not properly inserted can lead to breaks and cracks. Get this checked right away, as the filling will have to be replaced. In some cases, if there is further decay, a new restorative treatment might be recommended.
  9. Lost filling: If you know that your filling has fallen out, then it will have to be replaced.
  10. Damaged tooth: If you damage your tooth and see that it is chipped or fractured, then you’ll need to see your dentist. Depending on the tooth and how severe the damage is, a filling or other restoration might be required.

Any of these signs should be addressed as soon as possible. Your dentist will assess the issues and decide what action is required.

The Challenge of Small Cavities

Small cavities can be hard to spot, and often don’t cause any of the symptoms we’ve listed here. This is why you really need to stick to your regular schedule for checkups. Small cavities don’t stay small. The longer they remain unnoticed, the more damage they cause. If they get too deep, they not only become more painful, but also put you at risk of infection. Deep cavities that reach the soft, sensitive inner pulp of your teeth require special care, usually root canal treatment. This is more costly and complicated than a simple filling, so it’s always best to take a proactive approach to dental care.

If you would like more information about the dental filling services that Guelph patients need, speak to our team at Guelph Family Dentistry today. Call us at 888-250-8819 or contact us here.

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Dr. Omar Al-Azzawi
Dr. Omar Al-Azzawi

Dr. Omar got his BDS degree in 2002 from the University of Baghdad. He has also completed a master degree in Prosthetic Dentistry from the University of Malaya, Malaysia in 2009. Dr. Omar got his DDS in 2013 in Canada after passing the National Dental Examination Board of Canada (NDEB) exams. Read More

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