Having a filling can be an uncomfortable prospect to be faced with. Yet, having tooth decay is a far worse thing to live with, and the effects are much more intense and longer lasting than any filling could be. In this article, we will explore what constitutes having a filling put in, and their benefits.
Why do I need a filling?
Fillings are used to fill up holes or cavities in your teeth. These cavities can be produced by physical trauma to the tooth, or by sugar dissolving your teeth.
When we ingest sugary foods or drinks, the sugar reacts to the bacteria in the plaque on your teeth, create an acid which dissolves the enamel and dentine of a tooth, before being neutralized after about an hour through natural salts in your saliva. This means that the sugar you take in will attack at your teeth up to an hour after eating, and over time can make a cavity in your tooth.
What types of cavities are there?
Tooth decay can cause three different types of cavities in your teeth:
- Coronal cavities
- Root cavities
- Recurrent decay
Coronal cavities are the most common type of cavities found, and are situated on the chewing surface or between the teeth.
Root cavities are a product of receding gum line, bought on through ageing. This reduction exposes parts of our tooth roots, and since they are not protected by enamel they are more likely to be susceptible to tooth decay.
Recurrent decay is located around existing fillings or crowns, which have accumulated a build-up of plaque.
Treating these cavities is so important, because not only are they painful to begin with, they can also destroy your tooth and kill the nerve at the centre, which can in turn lead to infections. If this part becomes infected, the only way to treat the tooth is with root canal surgery or by extracting the tooth.
How do I know if I need a filling?
Usually, the affected tooth will become quite sensitive when exposed to certain foods, especially if they are particularly hot or cold. Sweet and sour foods can also irritate the cavity. If your food always gets stuck between a particular tooth, it could be a sign you may need a filling.
If you feel sensitivity in a particular tooth, have a look yourself to see if it is chipped or damaged. If you have had a previous filling, see if it is cracked or broken as you may need to replace the filling.
If you can spot any dark spots or holes in your teeth, it is most likely a sign you need a filling, especially if the tooth feels rough.
If you are suffering from a sharp throbbing pain when you bite down to chew food, this could also point towards tooth decay.
Are you experiencing pain with your tooth and would like to see if you need a filling? Why not contact Ascent Dental Care Malvern today to see how we can help you.