If you’ve ever seen someone have a dental mishap, let’s be honest- you’ve probably laughed. Nothing beats seeing your mean teacher gap-toothed after his crown falls off. What to Do if My Filling Fell Out.
But if your own filling has fallen out, you know it’s no laughing matter. It can be stressful, and since you’re most likely not a dentist and don’t know how fillings work, you might not know what to do.
Well, never fear- having a filling fall out is something that needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Fillings fall out all the time, but having that empty space in your jaw could expose your tooth to bacteria and make it decay. Your jaw’s not going to be rotting out, but you may just get an infection or lose the tooth.
1- Remove the Filling and Call Your Dentist
The first part of this step is really the most important. Fillings are just large enough to choke on and just small enough to swallow- a bad combination. Not to mention, many fillings fall out while people are chewing.
If you keep that chewed up burrito in your mouth long enough, you’ll surely be able to extract your rogue filling. Just be brave, dive in there, and take it out. No problem! Just make sure to wash your hands afterwards.
What you’re going to want to do next is call your dentist. Most likely, he or she will want to establish an emergency appointment with you at their nearest availability. Calling immediately will make sure you have your filling replaced as soon as possible.
Also, consider boxing your food up. The inside of the tooth is likely to be a little tender, so chewing is probably not the best choice. Plus, exposing the area to food may help contaminate it with bacteria, which will not be good in the long run. Leave the area be for now, and make sure to get advice from your dentist.
2- Brush Your Teeth
Doing this will help to make sure that the exposed area doesn’t get infected. If you have an interest in keeping your tooth where it is, you’ll want to make sure that you take active efforts to get the pesky bacteria out of there.
Just make sure to go gentle. Brushing like a madman over the exposed spot will only produce pain and irritation. Make sure to brush around the area, getting any food or other contaminants out of the way.
Next, try washing your mouth out. Listerine is a good way to get some disinfectant down into your tooth without having to brush over it. It will still hurt, but if you’re willing to bear the pain, you might as well. Rinsing with warm, salty water after brushing also might help with the tenderness.
3- Fill It with Dental Wax
Next, you’re going to want to go to work covering up that hole in your tooth. Just like you don’t want potholes on your street, you mouth doesn’t like holes in its teeth. Covering it up will help to reduce tenderness and that awkward feeling of having a hole in your tooth. It will also protect your from bacterial infection.
Finding dental wax is easy. Simply go to your nearest pharmacy, and pick up a box. After this, applying the wax is even easier. Just mold the wax against the affected area. Make sure to really fill that void- your tooth is depending on you.
This step is most necessary if your upcoming appointment is a little further away than you’d like. Keeping the hole waxed-over will make sure you don’t get infections and your dentist doesn’t have to go uprooting any teeth.
Ways to Relieve the Pain
Now, all you’ll have to deal with up until your dentists appointment is the pain from the void in your tooth. We’re not going to lie- it can get pretty upsetting. Just try these few steps to reduce pain.
Taking a painkiller might help to reduce your pain. Painkillers can be found at drug stores, pharmacies, and even gas stations, so you won’t have a hard time finding any.
Also try brushing more gently. We mentioned this earlier, but if you’re used to scrubbing you teeth to death and keep doing it over an exposed area, you’ll have some problems. Make sure you keep things gentle.
Finally, try not to chew on the affected side of your mouth. Keeping food off of this side will keep you from getting an infection and reduce pain at the same time.
In conclusion, you’re not going to die from a filling falling out. But, you will want to act quickly to make sure you don’t experience any difficulties. Just follow the steps above to make sure everything turns out alright.
Written by Justin Stewart, a frequent collaborator with Senior Planning. Senior Planning is an eldercare planning agency, helping seniors find and afford the long term care they need.