Tags Posts tagged with "Extractions"

Extractions

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Filling Fell Out of Front Tooth
©MicroWorks/Shutterstock.com

I got an email earlier this week from a reader named Trish.  She asked the following:

“What will happen if the filling comes out of your tooth, and you don’t have it replaced, other than pain trying to eat?”

Lost Filling from ToothBefore I answer that question, let’s take a look at why fillings fall out.  A  filling normally doesn’t fall out of your tooth just for fun – it usually has a pretty good reason!  Fillings can come out because of decay around the filling, because the filling cracked, or because it wasn’t put in properly.

Basically, if your filling fell out, chances are that there was something wrong and you should get your tooth looked at by a dentist.

If the filling came out and it was recently put in, your dentist might give you a break and put a new filling in.  If it was an old filling and it just came out, you may have a cavity under the filling.

Regardless of why the filling fell out, it’s important to replace it.  To answer Trish’s question, here’s a list of eight things that could happen to your tooth if your filling fell out and you don’t have it replaced.

Eight Things that Can Happen If You Don’t Replace a Lost Filling

1 – Sensitivity

When you lose a filling, it exposes the sensitive dentin (the inner hard layer of your tooth) to your mouth.  Depending on how close the filling was to the pulp of your tooth, it could hurt all the time or only when you eat, as Trish mentioned above.  Either way, the pain means that there’s something wrong that needs to get taken care of!

Not sure what dentin and pulp are?  Check out my article on the anatomy of a tooth to find out!

2 – Root Canal

The pulp inside of your tooth could get irritated, causing pulpitis.  The textbook Clinical Endodontics by Leif Tronstad states, “Factors leading to an infectious pulpitis are conditions that contribute to the exposure of the dentin and dentinal tubules to the oral environment.”

3 – It’s Harder to Clean

Teeth are hard to clean when they have a big gaping hole in them.  Even if you can get the toothbrush bristles down to the bottom of the hole where the filling was, chances are that you won’t be able to easily clean out the entire hole where the filling was located.

4 – Bad Breath

When you eat food, the natural contours of the teeth allow you to efficiently chew and grind the food into little, easily-digested pieces.  When you have a hole in your tooth and you chew, you push the food down into the hole.  Since teeth with lost fillings are more difficult to clean (see #3), that food could be sitting in there for quite some time and cause your breath to be less than pleasant to those around you!  Even if you do have bad breath, people probably aren’t going to tell you.

5 – Tooth Decay

Because the tooth is harder to clean and you’re buyonlinegenericmeds.com grinding food into it every time you eat, it’s much easier for you to get a cavity in that tooth.  If the reason that you lost the filling was because you had a cavity under it, the cavity will probably get bigger the longer treatment is put off.

6 – The Tooth Could Crack or Break

If the tooth goes for a long time with a lost filling, it may develop a cavity, which can subsequently weaken the tooth structure and cause the tooth to break or crack.  Without the filling, the tooth will also experience different forces that end up causing it to break.

7 – Difficulty Repairing Tooth With a White Filling

When you lose a filling and expose the dentin to your saliva, the dentin reacts by trying to fight off the bacteria.  The little tubules inside the dentin eventually close off to try to protect the nerve of the tooth.  When this happens, it is known as sclerotic dentin.  A problem with sclerotic dentin is that it is much harder to get a white filling to bond to sclerotic dentin than it is to get a white filling to bond to regular dentin.

8 – The Tooth May Need to Be Extracted

If you wait too long, the tooth may break and become so badly decayed that it is what dentists like to call unrestorable.  That means that just like Humpty Dumpty, nobody will be able to put that tooth back together again, and it will have to come out.

What Are Your Options When a Filling Falls Out?

I assume that Trish wants to know what would happen because she either has a fear of the dentist or can’t afford to get a new filling right now.

If fear is keeping you away from the dentist, take a look at this article about reasons people are scared of the dentist, and then figure out your fear and try to overcome it.  There is help available online at sites like Dental Fear Central.

If cost is keeping you away from the dentist, then you can call your dentist and ask how much a temporary filling would cost.  A temporary filling would allow you to get the tooth filled fairly inexpensively until you can save up for a permanent filling.  An even more temporary solution is to try some temporary filling materials until you can see your dentist.  I talk about a few different brands in my article about what you should do when you lose a filling from your tooth.

Conclusion

If you have a filling come out, it’s necessary to get the filling replaced as soon as possible to ensure the long-term health of your tooth.  If you can’t afford it, there are temporary solutions available that you dentist may discuss with you.

Do you have any questions, comments, or concerns about losing a filling from your tooth?  Go ahead and leave a comment in the comments section below and I’ll get back to you.  Thanks for reading!

Why Extract Wisdom Teeth?
©Milos L Jubicic/Shutterstock.com

Sometimes, wisdom teeth come in normally and provide the mouth with another set of  powerful, food-crushing molars.  Unfortunately, that is the exception and not the rule.

Why Dentists Extract Wisdom TeethIt seems like pretty much everyone has their wisdom teeth (third molars) extracted before they come in around the age of 18.  A lot of people wonder why our bodies even bother to make wisdom teeth if we just end up removing them.  That’s a good question.

One theory is that a long time ago people lost teeth a lot earlier due to poor oral hygiene and the third molars came in later in life to provide fresh, healthy teeth.  Since some teeth had already fallen out, there was room for the wisdom teeth.

Currently, wisdom teeth are usually extracted as a preventive measure so that other problems do not occur later in life.

The reasons dental professionals remove wisdom are many, but they all boil down to one main reason – there is simply not enough room in the mouth for wisdom teeth.

There Isn’t Enough Room for Wisdom Teeth

Here are a few reasons why dentists normally extract wisdom teeth:

  1. There isn’t enough room in the jaw for them to come in.
  2. There won’t be enough room in the mouth for them to come in.
  3. Due to lack of space, wisdom teeth often come in at an awkward angle and can damage adjacent teeth.
  4. If they never break through into the mouth, they can cause big problems later on.
  5. Since they are so far back, they are harder to clean.  This increases the likelihood of developing cavities and gum disease.

There Isn’t Enough Room in the Jaw for Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom Tooth Soft Tissue Impaction
You can barely see the wisdom tooth poking out of the gums. There is not enough room for it to fully erupt.

Some people have smaller bones than others.  Sometimes, the jaws are not big enough to contain all of the teeth that our bodies produce.  After taking a diagnostic x-ray, your dentist can best advise you as to whether or not you will have enough room in your jaw to allow the wisdom teeth to erupt normally.

There Won’t Be Enough Room in the Mouth for Wisdom Teeth

Sometimes wisdom teeth can’t come up far enough into the mouth to serve as functional teeth.  In some cases, the wisdom teeth only partially erupt into the mouth and can result in severe pain in the gingiva (gums) when biting.

You can see an example of this in the photo to the left.

Wisdom Teeth Come in at an Awkward Angle

Wisdom teeth usually have a tendency to be abnormal.  They sometimes look very different and often they come into the mouth at different angles due to a lack of space.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth
This x-ray shows two wisdom teeth that are coming in at very awkward angles. The upper wisdom tooth is pointing toward the back of the mouth and the lower wisdom tooth is pointing directly at the molar in front of it, which can potentially damage that tooth.

As you can see in the x-ray to the right, the upper wisdom tooth is pointing backwards and the lower one looks like it is going to run into the tooth in front of it.

Many wisdom teeth try to erupt into the mouth by pushing on the molar right in front of it.  This can make it easy for the adjacent molar to get a cavity.  It can also cause the gums to recede around that tooth.  This can sometimes severely damage the adjacent molar that both it and the wisdom tooth need to be extracted.

Wisdom Teeth Can Cause Big Problems Later On

One of my professors at dental school showed me an x-ray of a patient that never had his wisdom teeth extracted.  Even though this patient was in his 50’s, an infection had started around his impacted wisdom tooth.  This resulted in a necessary surgery that cost thousands of dollars.  This surgery could have been prevented by simply removing the wisdom teeth at an early age when the tooth and roots were small and still forming.

When a tooth is just sitting inside the jawbone for many years, it can form what is called a dentigerous cyst.  This cyst can eventually turn into cancer.

Wisdom Teeth Are Hard to Clean and Often Get Cavities

Cavity on Wisdom Tooth - Courtesy of Ildar Sagdejev

Some of the patients that I see at the dental school have their wisdom teeth.  In many cases, they complain that they are very hard to clean.  They say that it is almost impossible to brush and floss way back there.

Because of this, many wisdom teeth develop cavities.  If someone can’t clean their wisdom teeth, then it’s a good idea to get them taken out before they cause pain and problems.

In the picture to the left, you can see a young man’s teeth.  The last tooth in back is the wisdom tooth.  It looks like the very back of the wisdom tooth was very hard for this young man to clean.  Because of this, he developed a cavity and it looks like the tooth probably was extracted.

Conclusion

Do you have any questions about getting your wisdom teeth out?  Do you still have your wisdom teeth?  If so, have you had any problems with them?

Please leave any questions or comments below in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you.  Thanks for reading!