Tips To Help You Cope With A Missing Filling

Biting down and feeling a sickening crunch isn't pleasant, but it can be even more of an issue if you find the crunch was from a filling that came out. Fortunately, this is an issue that can usually be remedied fairly quickly by your dentist as soon as you can get an appointment. The following tips can help you care for the tooth until your dentist can get you in.

Tip #1: Save the filling if you can

Depending on the type of filling, your dentist may need it to quickly fix your tooth. This is the case when there is a crown over the tooth, which is a porcelain cap that covers a tooth after it has undergone a root canal or similar filling procedure. A dentist can place and cement the old crown back into place if it isn't damaged, saving you both the expense and the wait time of having a new crown made.

Tip#2: Chew carefully

If you can't get in to get the filling replaced right away, you will need to be careful when you eat. Chew only on the opposite side of the damaged tooth to avoid irritating it. It's also a good idea to avoid sticky foods that can get lodged into the old filling site. Small foods or hard foods, like popcorn kernels, can also get lodged in the site or cause further breakage.

Tip #3: Manage the pain

Pain can be a real concern. You can help minimize it by dabbing clove oil onto the painful area. Another option is to use a baby teething gel. Over-the-counter pain relievers, like Ibuprofen, can also help relieve the pain -- take them as directed on the package. Finally, if the pain is severe, try biting down on a cotton ball or gauze wad. If you can't get in to see a dentist right away, place a wad of dental wax, available from pharmacies or drug stores, over the tooth to act as a temporary filling.

Tip #4: Keep up with hygiene

Your dental hygiene is especially important right now, since you don't want bacteria to infect the exposed filling site. Brush thoroughly but carefully around the damaged tooth to avoid irritating it. Floss as well, although you can skip the damaged tooth if it is painful or bleeding. Finally, swish with an antibacterial mouth wash several times a day to help prevent infection.

Contact a dentist like Kuban David S DDS in your area to have the filling replaced as soon as possible.