Nobody wants a filling but they are an essential part of the maintenance of your teeth. Although enamel, the hard outer covering of your teeth, is extremely tough, acids can eventually wear it down and attack the inside of your teeth. That’s when a filling becomes necessary.
Unfortunately, a filling isn’t usually for life, even if you take the best possible care of it. It’s not actually the material that’s at fault, although the material used for your filling could be a separate issue.
Did you know that amalgam fillings are actually 50% mercury which has been linked with brain disease, Alzheimer’s and other potential health issues? That doesn’t mean you should be rushing to have any fillings removed, but you should consider using holistic dentistry to ensure your oral care is in-line with the health of the rest of your body.
The Issue With Fillings
The problem with a filling is that it is filling in a gap in your tooth. This means, no matter how hard the dentist tries, there is a join line. This becomes the weakest part of your tooth. Over time this join line will be attacked by the acids in your mouth and it is possible they will find a way through. The acid can then attack the inside of your tooth.
This causes two issues.
Just as when the acid breaks through your enamel the acid can cause a small gap in the join line between tooth and filling. This allows bacteria and food debris to access the inner part of your tooth. It can then attack the tooth and even your filling from the inside.
You’ll need to have the filling removed in order to clean the infected area and refill it.
Shifting of the Filling
If your inner tooth starts to decay then the existing filling can actually start to move position. This may not be a big enough shift for you to notice but it will increase the number of bacteria that can get to your tooth and weaken the filling.
Again, you’re going to need to have the filling replaced.
Issues With Replacement
If you have a composite filling it can simply be drilled out, the area cleaned, and a new filling put into place. However, if you have amalgam fillings your dentist may need to take extra precautions to ensure the fillings are removed safely.
The Bottom Line
Although composite and amalgam fillings are very good, they are not as strong as the original tooth and there’s not a seamless join. That means there will always be a weakness and the problem cannot always be solved with regular cleaning, although this should be an important part of your oral hygiene.
The bottom line is simply that fillings do deteriorate over time and need replacing, that’s why regular check-ups and brushing twice a day is so important. It will ensure you pick up on any issue early enough for the dentist to do something about it.