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The filling in my molar tooth has fallen out

Dear Doctor, My molar tooth has a hole in it where my filling fell out. I have been so busy with work that I have not found time to go for another refilling. I have no pain in the teeth and I clean them the best I can. Could the lack of filling lead to any particular dental health risks? Please advice. Marvin

Dear Doctor,

My molar tooth has a hole in it where my filling fell out. I have been so busy with work that I have not found time to go for another refilling. I have no pain in the teeth and I clean them the best I can. Could the lack of filling lead to any particular dental health risks? Please advice.

 

Marvin

 

Dear Marvin,

 

Any hole in any tooth provides a potential space for food particles to stick and bacteria to grow over it forming a focus of infection. Resultant immune reaction of the body will cause a swelling to form at that site, which would be inflamed and painful. If the infection is mild, it may subside by itself. But risk of recurrent infections is posed by the gap in the tooth. Recurrent infections can cause inflammation at base of tooth and surrounding gum.

Gradually root can weaken and the tooth can fall off. A dental infection is also a potential source of spread of infection to tonsils, lungs, blood stream and even brain causing serious illness.

Molar are tooth used for chewing. A tooth which is not normal, would not be used for chewing. Gradually the roots of this tooth can be resorbed due to disuse, which will affect the mastication power. Hence it is advisable to consider refilling as a priority to avoid these complications.

Dr Rachna Pande is a specialist in internal medicine at Ruhengeri Hospital

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