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deteriorating fillingOne of the first signs that a filling is deteriorating is that metallic taste in your mouth. As with everything else in this life, the old silver mercury filling will start to corrode. The filling might even start to break down and leave that part of the tooth exposed to bacteria, and once that happens could also lead to a bad taste in your mouth.

Now a question many people, especially if they have the old mercury fillings ask, is what will happen if they ingest or swallow the filling. Nothing will happen, because the amount of filling that will be digested and then contained in the body is very small. Recent research has shown that the body does not retain most of the things it ingests, but rather passes through the body and is not retained, meaning that no health risk can come from ingesting a filling.

What are the main risks of a deteriorating filling?

Firstly, the tissue surrounding the tooth gets damaged. Secondly the tooth will decay further, and thirdly if left too long it can become an abscess.

Obviously the earlier the filling is replaced the less work will need to be done to the tooth in order to save it. If the filling is not replaced as soon as possible, it could lead to long hours at the dentist and become very costly.

How can a filling cause Bad Breath?

Above we mentioned that with the filling being corroded, the tooth becomes vulnerable to bacteria. Once bacteria have got inside, it can cause gum disease and can even cause an abscess.

Now with gum disease your gums become inflamed. This inflammation will cause your gums to become very sensitive, swollen and red. These factors cause the gums to bleed very easily. This is called gingivitis and is the early stage of periodontal disease. The sooner you visit your dentist and get a good oral regime going, the better the chances are of not getting periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is when the gums begin to draw away from the teeth and this leaves spaces in between the teeth and the gums, where bacteria can easily find its way into. It is between these spaces between the gums and teeth that now become infected, and the body’s immune system kicks in to protect the body against the infection. The immune system does this by breaking down connective tissue and bone. It is at this stage that if immediate treatment is not received, your gums and bone will be destroyed thus causing tooth loss.

Anaerobic bacteria feed of off the proteins that are in your mouth. The blood from the bleeding gums is one source of protein for the bacteria. Once the bacteria has consumed this protein (blood in this case), the by product is a sulphur compound, that we then experience as bad breath.

The conclusion being that the minute you notice a filling in your mouth is deteriorating go and get it replaced immediately to avoid bad breath and gum disease and begin using Therabreath oral rinse and tooth paste to bring the bacteria down to normal levels again.