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Here at Kevin J. Reece, DDS, our dentist routinely uses fillings to repair modest areas of tooth decay. While it is meant to last a long time, no filling is impervious to the passage of time and the pervasive bacteria living in your mouth.

The larger and older a filling is, the more likely it is to have trouble. This is often a result of the pervasive bacteria in your mouth infiltrating the microscopic seam bonding your cavity to the surrounding healthy tooth enamel. Sometimes you can notice the overt symptoms that one of your fillings is about to go bad. Catching it early can improve your repair and treatment options.

One common symptom of a filling going bad is a sharp pain when biting with that particular tooth. This could also be associated with a change in texture, especially if the filling is on the lingual side of the tooth near your tongue.

A gray discoloration forming in the nearby tooth enamel is a telltale sign that bacteria have invaded the seam between the filling and the healthy tooth enamel. Much of the cement has likely been compromised and there is serious potential for new decay to set in.

If a bad filling is small enough and detected early, your dentist, Dr. Kevin J. Reece, might be able to repair the area by removing a small amount of additional enamel. Then a new, slightly larger filling can be applied in its place.

If a new area of decay has formed, or if the missing filling was large, we might recommend having the entire tooth enamel layer replaced by a dental crown. The material used for the crown will vary depending on the tooth’s primary function and its visibility in your smile.

If you suspect that you have a bad filling in Payson, Utah, you should call Kevin J. Reece, DDS at 801-465-4474 to have it examined and treated.