A “leaky filling” refers to a situation where a dental filling partially lifts off one or all sides of the tooth. The technical term for it is micro-leakage.
Dental fillings are a restorative solution for teeth that had cavities, one of the most common dental problems. Cavities are little holes that develop in teeth as a result of decay. Dental fillings are used to fill these holes, but problems can arise if the filling is unintentionally removed or becomes “leaky” with time.
Leaky fillings happen when the seal between a filling and a tooth breaks, allowing food, water, saliva, and bacteria to once again enter the cavity, be trapped and breed under the filling. Leaky fillings are often caused by the filling being worn down over time and can lead to inflammation and infection if ignored for long time.
Leaky fillings promote decay (recurrent decay) that irritates your tooth, makes it sensitive to heat or cold, and causes pain.
What are the symptoms of a tooth with leaky filling?
Leaky fillings can cause extreme tooth sensitive. Some common symptoms include sensitivity to cold or hot food & drinks, noticeable cracks under existing filling, toothaches, pain while chewing, and even bad breath. Amalgam (silver) fillings are typically more likely to become leaky than composite fillings because composite creates a stronger bond between the tooth and filling.
How to treat a leaky filling?
The sooner a leaky filling is noticed and diagnosed, the better! Once the dentist has confirmed the tooth condition - a filling replacement will be recommended. To do this, your dentist will remove the leaky filling, clean out the cavity, and replace the filling with a newer composite filling.
If leaky fillings are left untreated for an extended period of time, decay can build up and may eventually require a root canal treatment (nerve removal therapy).
If you believe you have a leaky filling, you should speak to dental professionals as soon as possible to avoid further tooth damage & advanced decay!
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Secondary source educational information gathered by the author.
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