A cracked or lost filling can sometimes result in pain, while at other times you may barely be aware that it fell out. Eventually, though, pain will occur so you don't want to ignore the problem. Making the following mistakes can just make it worse.
#1: Tossing the filling
If you find the filling, don't toss it out right away. There are a few instances where you will want to keep the filling. If you have a gold or ceramic inlay filling your dentist may be able to reuse it. All other types of fillings, including the most common composite and amalgam fillings, can be tossed. If it is a crown that came off as opposed to a traditional filling, you will also want to keep it since these can often be put back on, thus saving you the expense and wait for a new crown.
#2: Ignoring the area
Ignoring the lost filling can lead to further decay. Instead, take a few minutes to carefully brush or teeth and flush out the affected tooth with water so that all food debris is rinsed away. If you can't get to the dentist right away for a fix, then purchase some dental wax at the nearest drug store. Role a small amount of the wax between your fingers until it is softened, then press it over the affected tooth. The wax will act as a temporary filling and can help relieve the pain of exposure. Replace the wax as needed. There is also no reason to deal with the main – Ibuprofen or similar over the counter pain relievers, as well as oral numbing gel, can be used to alleviate any remaining discomfort.
#3: Eating like normal
Continuing to eat certain foods with an exposed filling can lead to more pain and damage. First and foremost, avoid chewing on the affected side of your mouth as much as possible. Also, opt for softer foods and avoid hard foods like some candies and popcorn. The tooth isn't as strong without the filling, which makes it more likely to crack if you bite into something hard, like a popcorn kernel. The tooth is also more likely to be sensitive, so avoid extremely hot or cold foods until you can get in to see a dentist. Every time after you eat, you should also rinse your mouth well with salt water to help prevent infection.
Call a dentist, like one from Aesthetic Dentistry, as soon as possible to have your cracked or missing filling repaired.