4 Common Signs Of A Cracked Dental Filling

Dental fillings can offer a great way to restore teeth that have developed a cavity, but they don't last forever. There are several ways a filling can fail over time, and cracks are one of the most common issues.

Cracks can develop in fillings due to biting down too hard, grinding your teeth, or simply because of the filling's age. However, unlike fillings that have completely come out or developed large chips, cracked fillings can often be hard to detect and easy to ignore. That can be a problem since your dentist should inspect the problem as soon as possible to prevent further complications.

With that in mind, here are just four common signs of a cracked filling.

1. Sensitivity

One of the main reasons why cavities need to be covered is that they can leave the inner tooth exposed. The inner part of a tooth is more vulnerable to damage, and damage here is often harder to correct. Additionally, the inner part of teeth is more sensitive than the hard outer layer. When cracks develop in a filling, that filling is no longer able to protect the inner tooth. As such, you may find the affected tooth more sensitive to hot or cold foods and drinks.

2. Irregularities

Cracked dental fillings are often impossible to spot visually, but you may be able to detect cracks with your tongue. If you suspect one of your fillings may have cracked, slowly run your tongue over its surface. If you feel any irregularities or jaggedness, you should visit your dentist to let them take a closer look.

3. Toothache

Tooth pain can be caused by a wide range of factors, but it's likely the filling is to blame if you experience pain localised to a single tooth that has previously been restored. When a filling cracks, the tooth becomes more sensitive to pressure, so you're particularly likely to feel a sharp pain when you put pressure on the affected tooth. In many cases, this pain will go away when the pressure is reduced. While this is not necessarily always due to a cracked filling, it's always worth visiting your dentist so they can inspect the affected area.

4. Bad Breath or Taste

Even small cracks in a filling can let bacteria and small bits of food inside a tooth. Once inside, they are very hard to wash away and often become trapped. Decay can develop eventually, but you're likely to notice bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth before this happens due to the gases created by trapped bacteria or the odours caused by trapped food particles.

Contact a dentist to learn more.