3 Signs You Have a Damaged Filling

You don't always notice when a filling gets damaged. If the filling cracks or a small part breaks off, then the damage isn't always immediately obvious. If the filling is in an awkward position, then you might not be able to see it to check it out.

However, you do sometimes get other signs of damaged fillings. What signs should you look for?

1. Your Tooth Feels Different

You can sometimes feel damage to a filling even if you can't see it. For example, your tooth's surface might feel different. If you run your tongue over the filling, you might feel a hole or gap that wasn't there before.

Even if you haven't lost much filling, your tooth's surface might feel rough or uneven. If you have a significant crack, then your tongue might pick this up too.

2. You Have a Sensitive Tooth

A filling covers part of your tooth. If the filling cracks or if some of it breaks off, then you lose some of this coverage. The crack or hole opens up the inside of your tooth.

If this happens, then the tooth might become more sensitive. For example, you might feel some discomfort or a sharp pain when you eat or drink something that is hot, cold, or sweet.

If food and drink get into the crack or hole, then they seep into the inside of your tooth. This area doesn't have any enamel protection, so it is much more sensitive to direct contact and temperature extremes.

3. You Have a Toothache

If you've had a problem with a filing for a while but haven't noticed it, you might start to feel some pain in the filled tooth. If the tooth doesn't have complete filling coverage, then you might some problems with decay. In some cases, you can get a more serious dental infection.

Here, your tooth is likely to hurt more often and for no apparent reason. It won't just feel sensitive when you eat or drink — it might ache or throb at other times.

If you have any concerns about a filling, you should schedule an appointment to see a dentist. Early damage is faster and easier to fix at a lower cost. If you don't fix a damaged filling, then you might need more significant restoration work or you might even end up with an infection in your tooth that needs root canal treatment.