Why Do Fillings Lead to Tooth Decay Under the Fillings?

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why do fillings lead to tooth decay under the fillings

Dental fillings are a common solution for treating cavities and preserving the integrity of our teeth. However, there’s a surprising and often overlooked issue that can arise over time – tooth decay underneath the fillings. Let’s explore the reasons behind this phenomenon and discuss ways to prevent it. If you have further questions, please ask your dentist. 

Understanding Tooth Decays

To understand why fillings can lead to tooth decay underneath, it’s crucial to grasp the basics of tooth decay itself. Tooth decay, also known as dental caries or cavities, occurs when bacteria in the mouth produce acids that attack the enamel, the protective outer layer of the tooth. This acid can eat away at the enamel, eventually leading to cavities.

The Purpose of Fillings

Dental fillings are employed to restore teeth that have been compromised by decay or injury. They serve to restore the tooth’s structure, preventing further decay and promoting oral health. Commonly made of materials like amalgam or composite resin, these fillings are designed to withstand the daily wear and tear of chewing and biting.

Symptoms of Decay under Fillings

Decay under dental fillings, also known as recurrent or secondary decay, can occur if there is a failure in the filling or if proper oral hygiene is not maintained. Some symptoms that may indicate decay under fillings include:

  • Sensitivity 
  • Pain or discomfort 
  • Visible changes 
  • Foul taste or odor 
  • Swelling or pimples on gums 
  • Difficulty chewing 

It’s important to note that in the early stages, decay under fillings may not cause noticeable symptoms. Regular dental check-ups and x-rays are essential for detecting any potential issues early on. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to see your dentist for a tooth cavity filling consultation near you and appropriate treatment. Ignoring these signs may lead to further complications and the need for more extensive dental procedures.

Why Decay Occurs Under Fillings

Despite their purpose of restoring teeth, dental cavity fillings can sometimes fail to fully protect the tooth from further decay. Several factors contribute to this:

  • Microleakage: Over time, fillings can shrink, crack, or become loose, creating tiny gaps between the filling and the tooth. These gaps, known as microleakage, provide a pathway for bacteria and food particles to seep underneath the filling, leading to decay.
  • Poor oral hygiene: Inadequate oral hygiene practices, such as infrequent brushing and flossing, can contribute to the buildup of plaque around the edges of the filling. Plaque contains bacteria that produce acids, accelerating the decay process underneath the filling.
  • Old fillingsCavity fillings in South Edmonton have a lifespan and may need to be replaced after several years. As fillings age, they can degrade or wear down, increasing the risk of decay underneath.
  • Secondary decay: Sometimes, decay can occur in areas adjacent to the original filling site. This secondary decay can spread underneath the filling, compromising its integrity and leading to further decay.

Preventing Decay Under Fillings

Getting decay after acquiring dental fillings near you can be a concern. You can take proactive steps to reduce the risk:

  • Maintain good oral hygiene: Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using an antiseptic mouthwash can help remove plaque and bacteria, reducing the likelihood of decay.
  • Regular dental check-ups: Make sure to schedule regular check-ups and cleanings with your dentist to maintain optimal oral health. Your dentist can detect any signs of decay and address them before they worsen.
  • Replace old fillings: If your fillings are old or damaged, consider replacing them to ensure they provide adequate protection for your teeth.
  • Watch for signs of trouble: Keep an eye out for signs of decay, such as tooth sensitivity, pain, or changes in the appearance of your fillings. Promptly report any concerns to your dentist.

Contact Landmark Dental,  Your Partner in Oral Health

If you’re concerned about the condition of your fillings or require expert dental care, look no further than Landmark Dental. Our team of experienced South Edmonton dentists is dedicated to providing quality and effective dental services, ensuring your smile remains healthy and vibrant.  Contact us today for a consultation and experience the excellence of Landmark Dental, where your smile is our priority.