What is A Dental Filling?
A dental filling is used to treat a cavity, a small hole in a tooth. In order to repair a cavity, a dentist first removes the cavity from the decayed tooth and then fills the space with a material that is used for filling the tooth hole. A tooth can be damaged in a number of ways, and once damaged, it must be treated without any second thought to prevent further damage.
Harmful bacteria accumulating in our mouth is the major reason of cavities. Bacteria forms as a result of many factors and oral health and hygiene issues. Many people do no follow proper oral health and hygiene habits and that becomes a prime reason for the accumulation of harmful bacteria and plaque over the teeth, causing damage.
Not only bacteria, but smoking and chewing tobacco can also lead to tooth damage and decay. There are several betel nut products available in the market that are also mouth fresheners. Some even contain tobacco that is very harmful to tooth health. As a person grows old, the enamel is destroyed forming a cavity that causes pain and tooth decay.
Why Smoking Is Prohibited After A Dental Filling?
Smoking, eating sugary items, chewing tobacco, and sweeteners containing betel nuts and can irritate the dental filling and increases the risk of an oral infection. Dental fillings are made up of a strong substance and are meant to regain the structure of the teeth. Although the material with which the refilling is done, is made up of a hard material, it can degrade over the years, and it can gradually increase over the years with bad habits such as not washing mouth after eating, chewing hard foods with the tooth that has undergone filling, eating sweet and sugary foods etc.
Although there is no direct connection between a dental filling and smoking, most dentists will recommend you wait for at least a day or two before resuming your daily activities. Nicotine and other chemical substances found in cigarettes, could lead to unnecessary delays in the healing process, and lead to sensitivity. But however, cigarettes do not necessarily cause any damage to the fillings by themselves.
Even if smoking has no direct connection with tooth fillings and cannot necessarily damage fillings, it can certainly affect oral health and can cause harm to the overall body’s health. Chemicals like nicotine, tar, and many other substances found in cigarettes have a direct connection with causing gum disease, tooth instability, staining, and even oral cancer. People who smoke tend to suffer from severe halitosis or bad breath if not taken proper oral care post smoking and that can be difficult to treat. Therefore, they are always advised to quit smoking and avoid chewing tobacco and betel nuts when they feel they are ready.
Cigarette smoke and tobacco have been shown to cause an adverse effect on gum health and cause stains on teeth. The more the number of years a person has been smoking, the more the loss of structural integrity of the teeth will happen. Although there is no direct correlation between cigarette smoke and cavities, but it is always advised to avoid smoking for the best overall health.
For people who are highly addicted to cigarettes and nicotine products, chewing a nicotine gum can slowly and gradually release you off the addiction. Using a nicotine patch can also reduce any craving to smoke. Cavities can be very painful, and until and unless they are removed, it can keep causing pain.
Dentists always recommend that patients irrespective of whether having cavities or not, decrease the amount of cigarette consumption and eventually quit smoking altogether. Smoking causes staining on teeth that are very difficult to remove. At the same time, it reduces the functioning of our lungs, as it forms a layer of tartar and gives rise to several respiratory ailments, including lung cancer. Things like nicotine patches, nicotine gum, sunflower seeds, and other methods have been shown to help patients start the road toward quitting.
Additionally, you can also speak to your dentist, regarding the different methods to follow to quit smoking over time.
Not only smoking, drinking alcohol can equally contribute to problems with tooth and cavities. Alcohol leads to a dried mouth and causes dehydration. It causes a significant reduction in saliva production. Since saliva is an antiseptic, it protects our mouth from several diseases and ailments. Reduction in saliva production leads to several problems in the mouth, teeth, gums, lungs and food pipe.
Smoking and healing after a root canal
A root canal is a painful process. It drills the teeth till their roots and then fixes them with the help of a screw-type pin. An anesthesia injection is pushed before the process and antibiotics are suggested after the treatment for a span of a week or so. Although smoking does not have any direct correlation with a root canal, it is advisable not to smoke since a root canal is like surgery. Smoking may attract harmful bacteria to the mouth.
Also, smoking reduces the immunity and the ability of the body to fight against diseases and germs. After a root canal, the body heals on its own and with the support of a few antibiotic medicines. Smoking may unnecessarily delay the healing process.
Let us look at a few tips to follow after dental filling:
Dental fillings are done to make the tooth stronger. However certain tips must be followed to take care of the tooth and its surrounding area post-dental filling. Let us look at a few of them:
- Avoid irritating the area affected: Although there is no discomfort at all after dental filling, there might be some tingling and feeling of numbness immediately thereafter, which is not uncomfortable and usually goes away in a day or two. However, it is important to leave the affected area of the mouth on its own, without touching, pricking, or pushing the area. Avoid eating hot and cold foods and foods that are hard to unnecessarily cause disturbance to the area. Once the mouth recovers after approximately 12 to 24 hours, patients can easily return to normal routine life.
- Eat a soft and healthy diet: Eating soft foods that are tender on the tooth at the same time healthy, is the best after a dental filling. You should target eating foods that are low in sugar. Sugar intake slows down the recovery of diseases as sugar reduces the immunity power in an individual. You can consider eating foods such as half-boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, oatmeal prepared in milk, cornflakes soaked in milk, yogurt, chicken soup, and bread soaked in milk.
- Avoid hot and cold drinks – Any food item that is beyond the normal temperature should be avoided at all costs. Too hot or too cold food items irritate the mouth. So until the mouth totally recovers, keep the mouth clean. Swish it with water often and try having foods that are of room temperature to avoid any complications and problems.
- Consult your dentist in case of any setback – Even after taking all precautions and necessary medications, if there is bleeding, swelling, or irritation in the area where the dental filling is done, you should immediately consult your dentist and get a thorough check up done. The filling may come out if an oral infection happens. And it can be best resolved by a dentist.
The fillings used to fill teeth are usually made of plastic, gold, silver, porcelain, or amalgam, which are matched with the color of your teeth so as to give a uniform look. You might be allergic to some of these materials. If you know about it inform your dentist prior to getting the filling done. If any allergic reaction happens after the filling is done, consult your dentist immediately and get the problem treated.
Your dentist may remove the filling, and conduct an allergy test for you to determine the substances that cause an allergic reaction for you. Next, he will do the filling with a different material than used before.
New studies have revealed that people who smoke and drink alcohol, are more likely to suffer from dental failure. Some genetic factors may also be responsible for the failure of dental fillings. The longevity of the dental filling depends on how well it is maintained by you. Decaying of tooth fillings over time is very natural. But it should be noted that they are not deliberately done out of negligence and unruly behavior.
In order to increase the life span of these fillings, patients are always advised to quit smoking and drinking or at least reduce it to a minimum. Our mouth is the place from which food enters our body. Our body gets its nourishment from the food it consumes. Therefore keeping your mouth clean and restoring oral health is a mandate.
Eating foods and consuming drinks that might damage the oral cavity, cause bacteria, lead to plaque formation may only worsen the condition of your mouth. Tooth pain is quite severe and tooth-related problems also affect nearby areas and disrupt normal functioning.
Visit to dentist on a frequent basis is very important, to locate problems that might arise in your mouth. Many times it might happen that there is already an infection in the mouth without we being actually aware of it. Also, a cavity might be formed, without you being aware of it. Visiting a dentist on a frequent basis can lead to the identification of these infections and treating them early, before they aggravate and cause harm to you.
Apart from smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco, smoking marijuana also has to be avoided strictly. Marijuana is more harmful than tobacco. It can increase risk of bleeding and infection. Also, a persistent infection might increase the intensity of the infection, causing pain and unnecessary discomfort. Also, marijuana can interfere with other medications, you are already taking and decrease their effectiveness.
Cannabis can unnecessarily increase the complications in your body, particularly if you are already suffering from a disease or infection. Always be honest with your dentist and inform him of any history of consuming cannabis. Informing your dentist may help him treat your disease accordingly. He may first nullify the bad effects of cannabis by using some medications and then suggest some strong medications for treating your problem, apart from those that are used in treating patients who are not addicted to smoking or drinking.
Cigarettes lead to dry mouth, because of decreased saliva production. Saliva is the body’s antiseptic and aids in digestion and prevents us from diseases. Dry mouth can lead to the occurrence of infections and accumulation of disease-causing bacteria in the mouth that can lead to bad breath, tooth staining, cavity, gingivitis, chipping, plaque formation.