You bite into one of your favorite chewy, sugary sweets and are met with pain. You spit the candy out of your mouth and something else came with it. Your filling fell out.
What are you supposed to do? The pain is awful.
Luckily for you, there are things you can do to take care of your mouth until you can make it into the dentist office. Here is a complete step by step guide on what you should do when you lose your filling.
1. Remove the Filling
The first thing that you should do is take the filling out of your mouth. If you don’t, you may swallow it by accident. It should pass through your body like anything else, but you don’t want to take any chances.
If you inhale it, you could choke or your lungs may get some kind of infection. This doesn’t happen often, but it’s still in the realm of possibility.
Make sure to keep the filling. If you take it to your dentist, they may be able to clean it and put it back where it came from instead of doing a complete replacement.
2. Call a Dentist to Make an Appointment
Once you’ve removed the filling and put it in a baggy for safekeeping, get on the phone with your dentist to make an appointment. Losing a filling is a dental emergency, so they may be able to fit you in that day.
If they can’t fit you in, then you’ll need to try and keep the area clean until you can be seen. The following steps can help you with maintenance and pain.
3. Practice Good Oral Hygiene in the Meantime
There will be a hole left in your tooth when the filling falls out. This makes the spot vulnerable to food and other bacteria. You’ll need to be sure to brush it gently to remove the bacteria without aggravating the area.
You can also rinse your mouth with saltwater. Create a rinse by adding one teaspoon of salt to a single cup of water.
4. Dull the Pain
When the filling falls out, the nerves in your tooth will be exposed. As you can imagine, this will hurt when you’re eating and drinking. There are ways to relieve the sharp, throbbing pain until you’re able to get to the dentist.
One of them is clove oil. Pick up a bottle from the store and apply it to the site with a cotton swab. This will numb the area and make it easier for you to go about your daily life.
5. Use Pain Relievers
If the clove oil doesn’t work for you, then you can try taking over-the-counter pain relievers. If you get in touch with your emergency dentist, they may be able to call in a small order of prescription pain relievers.
You won’t be given a large prescription, but it will be enough to make the pain bearable until you can actually get into the office.
6. Temporary Fillings
Even with pain relievers, your tooth will be sensitive to cold and hot foods. It will be quite painful, but temporary fillings can help. They can also keep bacteria and food out of the hole in your tooth.
Take a piece of sugar-free gum and use it to cover the site of the problem. It is important that you use sugar-free gum. Gum with sugar will cause more pain than not.
If this doesn’t work, you can buy dental cement. You could also buy a dental kit. These kits typically come with anything you could ever need to handle any kind of dental emergency.
7. Avoid Certain Foods
When you’re eating, it’s good to chew on the side of your mouth that doesn’t have a hole in it. There is still a possibility that the food will get into the tooth though. To this end, you’ll want to avoid foods that can cause more decay.
If you bite into hard food, such as an apple or carrot, it will hurt due to tooth sensitivity. They can also cause your tooth to crack. Opt for soft foods instead, like warm broth or rice.
Sweet and Sticky
Foods like caramel and toffee can get stuck in your tooth, and they’re hard to get out. If you don’t get rid of them with brushing and rinsing, then they will gather bacteria.
Cold and Hot
Again, your tooth will be sensitive because of the nerves being exposed. Cold foods like ice cream won’t feel good, so you should avoid them. Drink any cold beverages with a straw so it’s less likely to come into contact with your teeth.
You want to avoid hot foods and drinks for the same reason. Tooth sensitivity. Your daily coffee can wait until you’ve seen the dentist.
Acidic foods and drinks will eat away at the enamel of your tooth. This will make it way more vulnerable to sensitivity. Avoid foods like sodas, citrus fruits, pickles, and tomatoes until you’ve got your filling back in.
If you play a sport, then you probably already have a mouthguard. If you don’t, then you may want to go ahead and pick up a temporary one until your filling is put back in.
You may grind your teeth at night, and a mouthguard will stop you from doing any further damage to the tooth if you do. You can also wear it during the day to avoid tooth damage as you go about your daily life. You’ll have to take it out while you eat, unfortunately, but it’s still worth it to wear it.
What to Do If Your Filling Fell Out
If your filling fell out you’ll need to make an appointment with your dentist right away. If they can’t see you the same day, it’s okay.
You can still take some of the measures on this list to protect your tooth and keep the pain away. Don’t suffer while you wait.
Need to make an appointment to get a filling? Contact us to request one today. We can’t wait to take care of your smile.