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Cracked Fillings: Common Causes and Effective Solutions

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Close-up of teeth viewed through a magnifying glass before dental fillings, near Birmingham.
Author:
November 8, 2023

Dental fillings in Birmingham play an important role in preserving the health and functionality of your teeth. They're designed to restore teeth damaged by cavities, ensuring you can continue to smile, chew, and speak confidently. However, like any dental restoration, fillings can face issues over time. One of the most common problems people encounter is cracked dental fillings.

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Common Causes of Cracked Dental Fillings

Wear and Tear: Dental fillings endure a significant amount of daily wear and tear from chewing and biting. Over time, this constant pressure can lead to the weakening of fillings and the development of small cracks. These cracks may start as minor inconveniences but can progress if not addressed promptly.

Temperature Changes: Dental fillings can expand and contract in response to extreme temperature changes. For example, consuming a hot beverage followed by an ice-cold drink can cause fillings to undergo rapid expansion and contraction, potentially leading to cracks. This phenomenon is more likely to occur with amalgam (metal) fillings due to their higher thermal conductivity.

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism): Individuals who suffer from bruxism, a condition characterized by clenching or grinding their teeth, place excessive and constant pressure on their dental fillings. This continuous force increases the likelihood of fillings cracking. To prevent further damage, bruxism should be addressed with the help of a dental professional, who may recommend a nightguard to protect both the fillings and natural teeth.

Biting Hard Objects: Habitually biting on hard objects, such as pens, pencils, or fingernails, can damage dental fillings and lead to cracks. The force exerted on the fillings when biting down on non-food items can be substantial and may result in fractures.

Aging Fillings: As dental fillings age, they can naturally degrade and become more susceptible to cracks. This is especially true if the fillings have been in place for many years.  

Over time, the materials used in the fillings may break down or weaken, making them less effective in sealing and protecting the tooth. Regular dental check-ups are essential to monitor the condition of aging fillings and identify any potential issues early.

Effective Solutions for Cracked Fillings:  

Dental Evaluation: If you suspect a cracked filling, it's essential to schedule an appointment with your dentist promptly. They will conduct a thorough evaluation to assess the extent of the damage.

Filling Repair: In some cases, a cracked filling can be repaired without the need for replacement. Your dentist may replace the damaged portion with a new filling material.

Replacement: If the filling is extensively damaged or the crack is too significant, your dentist may recommend replacing the entire filling. This ensures the tooth remains properly sealed and protected.

Dental Crowns: A dental crown may be the best solution in situations where the tooth's structure is compromised. Crowns provide added protection and strength to the tooth, preventing further damage.

Address Underlying Issues: If bruxism is the underlying cause of cracked fillings, your dentist may recommend a nightguard to protect your teeth while you sleep. This can help prevent further damage to your fillings and teeth.

close up of a cavity that needs dental fillings birmingham

Do You Need Dental Fillings in Birmingham Replacement?

Cracked dental fillings can be a common dental concern, but they can be effectively addressed with timely intervention.  

For professional dental care and solutions for cracked fillings, contact Church Family Dentistry today. Our experienced team is here to help you maintain a bright and healthy smile.

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