Top 5 Red Flags Your Dental Filling May Need Attention

Dental fillings are a standard procedure used to treat cavities and restore the function and appearance of decayed or damaged teeth. While dental fillings are a durable and long-lasting solution, they may not last forever and may need attention over time. If you have dental fillings, it’s essential to look for potential issues and seek professional dental care as soon as possible to prevent further complications. 

This blog post will discuss the top red flags indicating your dental filling may need attention.

1. Pain or Sensitivity Around the Filling

Pain or sensitivity around a dental fillings is a typical red flag that something may be wrong. If you experience discomfort when biting down, eating, or drinking hot or cold beverages, it may be a sign that the filling is damaged or compromised. This sensitivity could be due to several factors, including a crack in the filling, decay under the filling, or the filling becoming loose.

When experiencing pain or sensitivity, promptly scheduling a dental appointment is essential. Your dentist will consider the affected tooth and determine the cause of your discomfort. Sometimes, a simple repair or replacement of the filling may be necessary, while others may require more extensive treatment, like a root canal or crown.

2. Visible Cracks or Damage in the Filling

Inspecting your dental fillings regularly can help you spot potential issues before they become severe. If you notice visible cracks or damage in your fill, it’s crucial to seek dental care as soon as possible. Cracks or chipped fillings can create an entry point for bacteria, leading to further decay and potential infection.

Your dentist will likely recommend replacing the damaged filling to restore the tooth’s integrity and prevent further complications. In some cases, a more extensive treatment, such as a crown, may be necessary to provide adequate support and protection for the affected tooth.

3. Discoloration or Darkening Around the Filling

Over time, dental fillings can become discolored or darkened due to normal wear-and-tear or staining from food and beverages. However, if you notice a darkening or discoloration, specifically around the edges of the filling, it may be a sign of decay or leakage. Bacteria and food particles can pile up in these areas, leading to further tooth decay and possible infection.

In such cases, your dentist must remove the existing filling, clean out the decayed area, and place a new filling or another appropriate restoration. Prompt attention to this issue can help prevent further damage and potential tooth loss.

4. An Unusual or Metallic Taste in Your Mouth

An unusual or metallic taste in your mouth can be another red flag that your dental filling may need attention. This taste may be a sign that the filling is deteriorating or that there is an issue with the bonding between the filling and the tooth. A metallic taste may also indicate that the filling is made of older material, such as amalgam, which can corrode over time.

If you experience an unusual or metallic taste in your mouth, it’s essential to consult with your dentist. They will evaluate your filling and determine if a replacement or alternative restoration is necessary to address the issue.

5. Swelling or Inflammation Around the Filling

Swelling or inflammation around a dental filling can indicate a potential infection or an issue with the filling itself. Sometimes, the filler may not be adequately sealed, allowing bacteria to enter and cause inflammation and infection. In other instances, the swelling may be due to an allergic reaction to the filling material.

If you notice swelling or inflammation around your dental filling, it’s crucial to consult your dentist as soon as possible. They will identify the cause of the issue and recommend the appropriate treatment to address the problem. This may include replacing the filling, prescribing antibiotics to treat an infection, or using an alternative filling material if an allergic reaction is suspected.


Regular checkups and proper oral hygiene are essential for ensuring the longevity of your dental fillings. However, if you experience any of the above red flags, seeking professional dental care is crucial as soon as possible. Prompt attention to these issues will help prevent further complications, preserve oral health, and ensure a beautiful and functional smile.

Family Dental of Westborough is delighted to announce that our office is now open and fully operational for all dental care needs, cleanings, dental fillings, and routine maintenance. We are closely adhering to the Massachusetts Phase 2 guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of our valued patients and staff. To schedule an oral appointment or for any inquiries, do not hesitate to contact us. 

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