Although fillings are sturdy, they don't always last forever. If you have one and it falls out, it helps to know how to respond so that you protect your oral health. Although you may need to seek assistance from an emergency dentist, here are some other forms of recourse to explore.

Speak With a Dentist

Although losing a filling isn't always a dental emergency, only a professional can decide whether it is or not. At the very least, speaking with your dentist gives you a chance to schedule an appointment as early as possible. If you're experiencing pain, they may also write a prescription to keep you comfortable until they can replace your filling. They'll also ask all the right questions for identifying whether you have an infection or not and will determine whether you need to see an emergency dentist.

Try Salt Water

Now that your filling isn't offering maximum protection for your pulp, you're at higher risk of infection. One way to reduce your risk of infection is to swill the area with salt water. The salt should create an environment that makes it difficult for your bad oral bacteria to survive. As a result, you'll lessen your risk of infection and make it easier for your dentist to replace your filling.

Try a Temporary Filling

Visit your local pharmacy and ask if they have any temporary filling solutions available. You can insert the solution yourself and use it to bridge the gap between now and when your dentist replaces your filling. Depending on the type of solution you use and how you apply it, the results can last for a couple of weeks. However, it's important to see your dentist as soon as possible for a replacement filling.

Monitor for Infection

Sometimes an underlying infection can cause your filling to fall out. As such, when you lose yours, you should look out for the more advanced signs of a dental infection. If you notice pain that's growing increasingly worse despite your interventions, contact an emergency dentist. If you have swelling in the area or you see pus coming from it, you may be dealing with an abscess. As a dental emergency that can require draining and antibiotic treatment, abscesses usually require urgent attention.

When your dentist replaces your filling, they may be able to identify why it fell out. If that's the case, following their aftercare advice is an excellent way to stop the problem from happening again.

Contact an emergency dentist to learn more.