If your old composite dental fillings appear in good shape, you might not think it's necessary to replace them with new restorations. Although composite fillings make excellent restorations, they can wear down from old age. In addition, decay can develop inside your filled teeth or below your gumline. Without a thorough dental exam, you may not even know that you have decay in your filled teeth. Here are reasons to replace your old restorations with new ones.
You Lose Your Teeth
Tooth fillings don't just make your teeth look and function better, the restorations also prevent tooth loss. Decay can develop inside the crowns of your teeth. If the decay spreads to the roots and ligaments that hold your teeth in place, your teeth can loosen up and fall out.
Tooth loss can cause the bone tissue in your jaws to deteriorate and weaken. Every time you chew food, your teeth roots stimulate the cells in your jaws to grow and reproduce. Without teeth, your jaws begin to lose thickness, height, and stability. These problems can affect the shape of your jawline, cheekbones, and chin, which causes you to appear older than you actually are.
In addition to tooth and bone loss, you can potentially develop problems with your gums.
You Develop a Gum Infection
You may not see it, but decay can occur below the gumline of your filled teeth. Bacteria and other germs can enter the hidden decay and infect your gums over time. The infection can potentially lead to gum disease.
Gum disease isn't a something you want to ignore. The condition may be linked to heart disease, stroke, and several other serious health problems. Gum disease may make these health problems worse, or even cause them.
What to Do
You can prevent the complications mentioned above by seeing a dentist for care. A dentist can examine your filled teeth with X-rays to see if decay has developed in them. If a dental provider finds decay, they can treat it before filling your teeth with new composite.
If your filled teeth are too decayed to restore with new composite, a dentist may suggest that you have a root canal treatment completed. Root canal treatment removes decay from the inside of your teeth crowns. The treatment also keeps a dentist from extracting, or removing, your teeth.
If you want to learn more about your old composite fillings, contact a dentist near you today.