What are the Signs or Symptoms that I Need a Filling?
First of all, let’s go back to the day you were born. As a newborn baby, there were no harmful bacteria inside of your mouth. As you grew older and became a toddler, bacteria found its way into your mouth. It could have happened when your mom kissed you or when you licked the floor as a baby. In any case, those bacteria have now set up a permanent residence inside of your mouth and you will have to deal with them for the rest of your life.
These bacteria live on your teeth. Every time you eat something that they enjoy eating, such as candy, you provide food for them. Feeding these little creatures doesn’t sound like such a bad thing, but it is!
After they eat, they produce a very strong acid that eats away at your teeth. If you don’t remove this sticky layer of bacteria (commonly known as plaque) by brushing and flossing, the bacteria will keep destroying a tiny amount of your tooth structure every day until you get a hole in your tooth. These holes are known by many names, such as tooth decay, cavities, and dental caries. You can learn more about dental plaque by reading the article What Every Human Needs to Know About Plaque.
Our bodies have the amazing ability to repair injured structures. For example, when we break a bone, our body is able to heal the bone by creating new cells that glue the bone back together. Unfortunately, this isn’t true when it comes to our teeth. Although we do get two sets of teeth in our life, once a hole forms in a tooth, the body cannot repair it. Hundreds of years ago (before fillings existed), cavities eventually caused people so much pain that they would have the tooth removed.
Amazingly, modern dentistry has found a way to let you keep your decayed teeth. All that needs to be done is to have the bacteria professionally removed and then to replace the hole in the tooth with a hard, tooth-like material known as a dental filling.
Here is a summary of the signs and symptoms that you may need a filling:
Symptoms (what you might experience):
Sensitivity- to hot, to cold, to pressure, to sweet things
A sharp or throbbing pain
Pain on biting or chewing.
Signs (that you may notice):
A hole that you can see (dark spot) or a hole that you can feel
Floss that keeps tearing in a particular spot
Food always getting stuck between certain teeth
A rough tooth
Chipped or fractured tooth