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Fillings are commonly used by the dentists at VIP Smiles’s Syracuse, Utah clinic to repair chips and small areas of tooth decay. While they are cemented or bonded securely to the surrounding tooth enamel, it is possible for poor oral hygiene and other oral health complications to weaken the bond.

This could allow the bacteria in your mouth to invade the seam between the tooth enamel and the filling material. The larger and older a filling is, the more likely it is to become distressed. Sometimes you can notice an overt symptom that one of your fillings is about to go bad.

Early symptoms of a distressed filling could commonly include: heightened sensitivity, and a sharp pain when biting down or chewing on that tooth. This could also be associated with a change in texture, especially if the filling is on the lingual side of the tooth near your tongue. You should also beware a filling that causes heightened sensitivity when you consume cold, hot, sweet, or acidic foods.

A gray discoloration forming in the nearby tooth enamel is a telltale sign that bacteria have invaded the seam between the filling and the healthy tooth enamel. Much of the cement has likely been compromised and there is serious potential for new decay to set in.

Sometimes we can replace a small, bad filling with a fresh, new one. Unfortunately, if the filling was large or the tooth suffers from a new area of decay, the entire tooth enamel layer may need to be replaced by a crown. The material used for the crown will vary depending on the tooth’s primary function and its visibility in your smile.

If you live in Syracuse, Utah and you suspect one of your fillings is in distress, you should call 801-776-3000 to have it examined and treated by VIP Smiles’s dentists.