What Causes Tooth Decay Under a Filling?

The tooth fairy can't work her magic on tooth decay. Most of us remember the tooth fairy paying us after we left our baby teeth under our pillows. Now, as adults, the tooth fairy is but a distant memory, a delusion as sweet as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

Decaying teeth can be one of the many harsh realities of adulthood. Teeth can even decay under a filling. To properly treat tooth decay, you should know how and where it can form.

See what causes decay under a filling by reading on.

Ugly, Treatable Tooth Decay

Maybe you wouldn't expect decay to occur under a filling. It unfortunately happens.

Dental fillings can wear down over the years. They weaken and develop rough edges while breaking down. Plaque thus can accumulate more easily and become harder to remove.

Fillings have life expectancies, depending on the material. Composite resin fillings, for example, last five to seven years. Silver amalgam fillings' lifespan is 10 to 15 years.

A damaged filling is prone to decay. An accidental injury or even everyday wear and tear can make a tooth vulnerable to bacteria and a cavity underneath the filling.

You can sustain damage by chewing on ice, grinding your teeth, or chewing on sticky, hard foods like candy. Damaged fillings should be repaired immediately.

Filled With Decay

A filling can also be too large. If you had a big cavity with insufficient tooth structure to support the filling, your filling may be problematic. You'll probably need a dental crown instead.

Perhaps your dentist tried to fill the cavity to protect the tooth, but there should have been a crown. Decay may be likelier to form or your filling may fall out. In the latter scenario, you'll eventually need a dental crown.

A simple, common cause of decay is bacteria. After you eat, the remaining food on your teeth and in the surrounding areas is ripe for bacteria.

Bacteria lives within the plaque inside of your mouth. Bacteria microbes survive off of sugar from leftover food.

Acid from the bacteria attacks and damages the enamel. The acid makes holes in the teeth. These holes are tooth decay.

Failing to regularly brush and floss your teeth leads to plaque. Not having a dentist monitor and clean your teeth causes plaque too.

Dentists can spot signs of decay before it worsens. If you go without a dental checkup, plaque will be trapped in your teeth's cracks and under crowns. That's how tooth decay happens.

The Tooth Decay Fairy

Sorry to shatter your dreams, but there's no fairy for tooth decay. And if you haven't figured it out by now, there's no tooth fairy, either.

There is, however, happiness, which you can show with a pearly white smile. The first step to doing so is booking a dental exam in Coquitlam.

Schedule an in-person or virtual appointment with us today.