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Why Do I Need a Dental Filling? (cavities)

Why Do I Need a Dental Filling? (cavities)
Posted on April 11, 2019

Going to the dentist is probably one of the least favourite pastimes for most people. However, when a tooth is painful, going to the dentist can be a lifesaver to alleviate the pain and prevent more significant dental problems down the road.

At some point in our life, most of us will experience a cavity. The tooth may have been damaged due to decay. The decay may have occurred because of poor oral hygiene habits, not brushing regularly, or eating and drinking high-sugar foods or drinks that contain a lot of acid which wears the enamel away and causes cavities. If left untreated, tooth decay can cause serious problems. 

Most Common Signs You Need a Cavity Filling:

  • The most common symptom that you might need a traditional filling is having a toothache. Sensitivity to specific temperatures, pressure, or sweet foods are also indicators that you need a filling. Finally, if you experience sudden or throbbing pain when biting or chewing, you might also need a filling.
  • The tooth may have been damaged by trauma, such as by an accident or a sports injury.
  • The tooth might have an inherent defect. Some people are just predisposed to teeth and gum issues, perhaps due to nutrition issues or genetics, as some problems can be hereditary.
  • There may be a broken or lost filling that needs either repair or replacement.

No matter the cause of the filling, the treatment process remains the same. In every case, it’s better to treat the filling early, to prevent any further damage to the tooth or risk possible nerve damage.

Less Common Signs You Need a Tooth Filling:

  • Tooth Crazing - Craze-lines are vertical cracks in the teeth enamel caused by stress placed on a tooth. This can be caused by a long lifetime of chewing or by activities such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) clenching, grinding teeth, or biting fingernails.
    These unsightly surface cracks darken the look of your teeth, over time. Luckily, dentists can use tooth-coloured filling material to cover craze lines and restore the look of beautiful teeth. This kind of tooth filling is sometimes called cosmetic bonding.
  • Fractured Teeth - Cavities are the number one reason for tooth fillings, but beyond that, fractured teeth can also be repaired with a white composite filling material. In both cases, these tooth fillings slow down or even prevent further tooth decay and damage.
  • Tooth Wear - As we age, our natural teeth wear down. As the wear occurs, the flat biting edges darken and make teeth look unsightly. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can also cause wear and damage to teeth.

Sometimes, this causes chipping and further damage to teeth. Again, using a tooth coloured bonding as teeth filling repairs the teeth and restores their surfaces. These tooth fillings also improve your bite and your ability to chew. Once the teeth fillings are in place, a night guard can be used at night to prevent further damage.

Types of Dental Fillings

  • Amalgam, which is the common silver filling used across the world. It usually is not recommended for large fillings; however, as this can cause the tooth structure to weaken and potentially fracture.
  • Composite resin, it is white to match the colour of the tooth. It is very popular due to the discretion it affords.
  • Porcelain or gold inlays can also be used for tooth restorations because they are very strong and durable and suitable for situations where the tooth is extremely damaged.

Book a Dental Appointment in St. Catharines

If you think you have a tooth with a problem requiring a filling, get it checked out by your dentist so it can be repaired and filled. By maintaining good oral hygiene, such as brushing regularly, daily flossing and reducing sugary products you have a better chance of keeping cavities at bay.

Getting a dental filling is a relatively painless process when done right.  If you have any concerns about your oral health, be certain to contact us today and our St. Catharines dentists can put your mind at ease.

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