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Is Your Filling Failing? 6 Signs You May Need a Replacement

Dental fillings are a common part of oral health care. They are used to treat cavities, restore damaged teeth, and prevent further decay. However, fillings can fail over time and may need to be replaced. Here are six signs that indicate your dental fillings have seen better days and require a replacement.

1. Pain or Sensitivity

Pain or sensitivity around the fillings can indicate it is failing. If you feel sharp pain or sensitivity when biting down or consuming hot or cold food and drinks may indicate that the filling has become loose or worn out. 

This pain may be caused by the filling no longer fitting the tooth correctly, allowing bacteria to accumulate and cause decay.

2. Cracked or Chipped Filling

If you observe that your filling is cracked, chipped, or missing, it is essential to get it treated by a dentist immediately. A damaged dental filling can expose the tooth to bacteria, leading to further decay and infection. Additionally, a damaged filling can cause discomfort while eating or talking.

3. Discoloration or Dark Spots

If you notice any discoloration or dark spots on your filling or the surrounding tooth, it may indicate that the filling is failing. Discoloration can occur due to the accumulation of bacteria or food particles between the filling and the tooth. It can also signify decay or damage to the tooth structure.

4. Rough or Uneven Surface

If you observe that the surface of your filling is rough or uneven, it may be a sign that it must be replaced. A rough dental filling can cause discomfort while eating or talking and may trap food particles and bacteria, leading to further decay.

5. Recurring Decay

If you have had your teeth filled in the past and notice that the same tooth has developed a cavity again, it may indicate that the filling is failing. Recurring decay can occur if the filling no longer fits the tooth correctly or if bacteria have penetrated the filling and caused further decay.

6. Bad Breath or Taste

If you notice persistent unpleasant breath or a strange taste in your mouth regardless of your brushing efforts, it may be a sign that your filling is failing. Bacteria can accumulate around the filling and cause bad breath or an unpleasant taste in the mouth. 

When to Replace a Filling

If you are suffering from any of the signs outlined above, you must visit your dentist for an evaluation. Your dentist will examine the filling and surrounding tooth to identify if it needs to be replaced. In some cases, a dental filling can be repaired, but in most cases, failing dental fillings need to be replaced.

It is important to replace a failing filling promptly to avoid further damage to the tooth. Delaying treatment can lead to more extensive decay, infection, and tooth loss. Additionally, a failing filling can cause discomfort and affect your ability to eat and talk.

Preventing Filling Failure

While dental fillings are a common part of oral health care, there are steps you can take to prevent filling failure. Here are some tips to avoid damaging your dental fillings.

1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Brushing twice daily and flossing daily can help prevent decay and keep your fillings in good condition. Use fluoride toothpaste to strengthen the enamel and protect against decay.

2. Avoid Hard or Sticky Foods

Chewing on hard candies or ice can cause damage to your fillings. Additionally, sticky foods can pull the dental filling out of the tooth. Avoid these foods to prevent damage to your fillings.

3. Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Regular dental checkups can help detect problems with your fillings before they become serious. Your dentist can also clean the area around the filling to prevent decay and infection.


Dental fillings are an essential part of oral health care. However, they can fail over time and may need to be replaced. If you experience any of the abovementioned signs, you must visit your dentist for an evaluation. Practicing good oral hygiene, avoiding hard or sticky foods, and visiting your dentist regularly can help prevent filling failure and maintain good oral health.

Protect your smile with regular dental checkups at Manassas Smiles! Our experienced team can evaluate your dental fillings and prevent any potential problems. Schedule your appointment today and keep your smile healthy and beautiful! 

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