It’s always troublesome trying to figure out what to do when a filling falls out. Few ailments are more obtrusive to your daily life than those affecting the teeth, especially when one has essentially fallen out. If you’re unable to get to a dentist quickly, losing a filling can seriously impact you until then.

While it would be unwise to try and fix a filling all by yourself, there are many things you can do to mitigate pain and damage to the tooth while you wait for a professional to intervene. Naturally, you should always contact a dentist as quickly as possible to get a professional opinion on what to do when a filling falls out. However, these solutions can help you until this becomes possible. Here are a few quick suggestions on what to do when a filling falls out.

close up of a tooth filling

What Makes Fillings Fall Out?

1. An Inappropriate Bite

There are many potential reasons why fillings might fall out of your mouth. One common cause would be biting into something hard, as this could dislodge the filling or break the adhesive used to keep it attached to your tooth. This is especially possible with fillings that are either very new and haven’t had a chance to bond more permanently or old ones that have been worn down over the years.

2. Filling Age

Additionally, age itself could be the reason as to why a filling has fallen out. Teeth are exposed to all sorts of stresses throughout our lifetime, with the things we eat and the number of times we chew wearing at fillings. Over time, fillings may become loose and fall out simply because the bonds holding them in place have weakened, or the teeth themselves might have moved somewhat or been worn in places themselves.

3. Improper Dentistry

Improper dentistry is yet another potential cause. In some cases, a dentist may accidentally apply a filling to a tooth rather than a crown due to misjudging the severity of the damage, leading to the filling fall out at some point as it won’t be able to handle the demands of the job. A filling could also have been put in place poorly, leading to it loosening and falling out shortly after being set into the mouth.

4. Cavities

Finally, cavities are another major cause of loose fillings. If food or bacteria become trapped underneath fillings, a cavity can very easily develop. As a tooth rots, the filling will no longer have a solid place to sit, eventually coming loose and falling out. This is typically the most serious reason for a filling falling out, as it will require further dental work to deal with the cavity in addition to the loose filling.

As a loose filling won’t take care of itself, you should always contact a dentist to find out what to do when a filling falls out. While you wait for an appointment, though, there are several things you can do to help yourself at home.

Possible Quick Solutions for Loose Fillings

1. Clove Oil

This method is most useful in mitigating any pain that might come with losing a filling, helping to make the situation more bearable until you can go in to see a dentist. Apply a few drops of clove oil to a cotton ball and dab the area where the filling came from, helping to numb it.

Clove oil is available in most pharmacies and supermarkets, though it’s important to take precautions when using it. Some people may be allergic to clove oil, so be sure to test it against your skin before applying it inside your mouth. Ingesting too much clove oil can be toxic, so use this method sparingly. Clove oil may also increase bleeding when injured, so you shouldn’t use any a few days prior to dental procedures. Additionally, if the effects are too strong, you may wish to dilute a few drops of oil in water.

2. Dental Cement

You can get dental cement over the counter at many pharmacies or online. It works well in either holding a filling in place or protecting a tooth while you wait for a dentist appointment. When using, apply a thin layer as instructed on the packaging either to the surface of your tooth or to the inside of the filling. Make sure to thoroughly clean out the filling before doing so, then place it as best you can.

Take care when placing a filling back in your mouth, as fitting it severely wrong can do more damage to your teeth than simply leaving it out. Additionally, remember that this is only a temporary solution. Only a dentist should try to permanently fit a filling. You might also want to consult your dentist before attempting this procedure for extra guidance if you don’t feel confident doing it on your own.

3. Salt Water

A good way to clean out the area of your missing filling, as well as to soothe pain, is to rinse your mouth with warm salt water. The warmth helps soothe any pain you might feel. Meanwhile, the salt helps disinfect the area and rinse out any foreign matter stuck there. Just mix half a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water and swish thoroughly for a minute, focusing the area where the filling went. Best of all, the only “side effect” to expect would be a harsh, salty taste.

4. Warm Tea

The warmth of tea can help to soothe pain, with certain varieties, like black tea and peppermint being especially good at numbing. Simply brew a packet of tea according to the package instruction or in any manner you prefer. Once cooled slightly, swish it around the area your filling came from, swallowing or spitting it out after. The only precaution for this method is to keep your mouth clean prior to a dental procedure, meaning you should brush your teeth with a soft brush and rinse your mouth with water to avoid trapping any sugars or tea under a new filling.

5. Chewing Gum

This method is especially good for loose fillings that haven’t fallen yet. Place a chewed piece of gum onto the tooth, with or without the filling inside, to help hold it in place and protect it while you wait for a dentist to help you. Be careful not to continue chewing it or letting the gum dry out, though, as it could adhere to the filling and make the gum hard to remove, not to mention hurt you. Choose sugarless or low sugar gum, as well, to prevent tooth decay.

Summing Up

You now have the knowledge to know what to do when a filling falls out. Though it can be scary and disruptive to your daily life, it’s ultimately easy to solve once you see a dentist. Use these tips to help mitigate pain and prevent damage as you wait for a more permanent solution.

If you have experience with losing fillings, what are some of your home remedies? Tell us about it down below, as well as your strategy on what to do when a filling falls out.

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