If you have one or more dental fillings that you have had for a few years and you have recently noticed that some foods or drinks make you uncomfortable, it is important to be aware that there are several possible causes if that discomfort. For instance, it could be new decay that has occurred around the existing filling, a fracture to the tooth that is not easily seen, or the result of a recent dental procedure. If you are concerned about the new symptoms in a tooth when you know that the area in question was fitted with a dental filling a few years ago, it is a good idea to be aware of the following information.  

When It Hurts To Chew Using That Tooth

If you have pain that occurs when eating or drinking, one likely cause is damage to the filling. Contrary to popular belief, filling are not meant to last forever. If you are like many Americans who received silver fillings containing mercury, research suggests that it is often necessary to get replacement fillings at least every 12 years. However, your oral hygiene and diet can result in accelerated damage to the silver dental repairs, which are often known as amalgam fillings. If you see your dentist regularly, avoid consuming a diet high in sugars, and brush your teeth after eating, you may be able to extend that time period. Of course, the reverse is also true. 

If the problems you are noticing include pain or discomfort while eating or drinking or occurs soon after, it is time to speak with your dentist. It could be that you need a new filling. Alternatively, it could also be that the new damage has existed for a while without any symptoms, which allowed new food to sneak into the tooth. In that instance, you may need a new, larger filling to repair the damage. However, if the damage is now extensive, it would need a very large cavity, and your tooth would not be able to safely support it for long. In that instance, it will be helpful to speak with your dentist about getting a crown to support that extra weight. 

When Your Tooth Is Sensitive To Food, To Beverages, And At Random Times

Although you may not believe it when you feel like you just gobbled down the world's biggest frozen drink, the truth is that having sensitive teeth is often a better sign than having painful teeth. For instance, it could be caused by a recent whitening treatment, in which case you will only need to wait a few days for the side effects to wear off. If the sensitivity continues, the problem might be more significant and could indicate that the soft tissue on the inside of the tooth has become inflamed. If that is the diagnosis, you may find that you need a root canal to treat that inflamed tissue known as pulp.

In conclusion, dental fillings exist to fill in the holes in your teeth that occur from decay or other forms of damage. Their presence will normally prevent new pain or decay from occurring. For more information, contact local professionals like Plymouth Valley Dental Group.