Does Your Dental Filling Sit Too High?

Oct 16th, 2012 | By | Category: Fresno General Dentistry, Fresno Restorative Dentistry, Oral Health, Tooth Decay

dental_filling_fresnoThe act of removing decayed tooth tissue and replacing it with a man-made material has been practiced since times of old. The main purpose of the procedure is to halt the spread of infection before more damage is done to your oral cavity, and typically, the most pleasing result is the cessation of tooth sensitivity and discomfort. So, you may be surprised if you find that your tooth still hurts, even after your dentist has placed a filling. One common cause for continued discomfort after a dental filling procedure is the position of the filling. In some cases, the filling material may sit too high, throwing off your bite’s alignment (occlusion) and putting undue stress on your jaw, tooth, and supporting ligaments. As dedicated dentists in Fresno, Dr. Alex Denes and Dr. Claudia Denes explain the difficulties of a high filling, and how to correct it.

The Purpose of a Filling

A dental filling is usually the treatment of choice for treating minor tooth decay, or cavities. Tooth decay begins when acids, either introduced by your diet or secreted by oral bacteria after consuming sugars and starches, attacks and weakens your tooth enamel. While enamel is the strongest and most mineralized substance that your body produces, it is subject to acid erosion, and once it grows too weak to effectively protect your tooth, bacteria slip past to softer inner-tooth tissues. The resulting infection can eat holes through your tooth’s structure, also known as cavities. A dental filling procedure halts the infection by removing the decayed tissue, and a material, generally tooth-colored composite resin, is used to replace the tissue and fortify the remainder of your tooth.

What is a High Filling?

At some point during your filling procedure, your dentist will place a piece of colored paper in your mouth and instruct you to bite, then ask you if it feels too high. Your mouth can be considerably numb by this time, and you may be eager to leave the office and carry on with your day, so if it is too high, chances are you may not notice. At least, not until a couple of days later, when your bite feels odd and the discomfort remains. Because the filling and its opposite tooth are the first to connect when you bite, the action can place greater pressure on the gums and ligaments of the tooth in question. This pressure may cause your gums to swell, which is the main reason for discomfort from a high filling.

Take a Little Off the Top

If you notice that your filling is too high, your Fresno dentists can shave it down, then re-check the filling to ensure that your bite is straight once more. This process should only take a matter of minutes; however, disturbed gum tissue will require more time to heal. If discomfort continues, or if the filling still feels high, contact your Fresno family dentists by calling Fresno Dental Studio at (559) 297-1800. Located in the 93720 area, we proudly serve patients from Fresno, Clovis, Mendota, Orange Cove, Reedley, Selma, and the surrounding areas.

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