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This Is Why Your Metal Fillings Zap Your Teeth If You Chew On Tinfoil

There are many reasons why good dentists like Dr. Taylor have moved away from using metal fillings to repair cavities. One of these reasons is the pain caused when you bite down on tinfoil.

Usually, this isn’t a huge issue; unless you are a kid being dared by friends or creating a video for YouTube, you likely aren’t biting down on tinfoil on purpose. But when you have a metal filling, you are guaranteed to notice every time a bit of tinfoil sneaks past your guard.

Creating A Painful Connection To Your Tooth’s Nerve

Many people have wondered how a piece of tinfoil can cause a painful zapping sensation in their mouth. Between the metal filling and the tinfoil, it is a fairly simple process of events.

  1. You bite down and bring the foil in contact with your metal filling.
  2. The salty and moist environment of your mouth help facilitate a connection between the foil and your filling.
  3. The electrochemical difference (different electrical voltage) creates a connection.
  4. Electrons swap through that connection, creating an electrical current.
  5. The current reaches the tooth’s nerve via the metal filling.
  6. Your tooth’s nerve acknowledges the electrical current contact and tells the brain.
  7. When the information reached your brain, it interprets the signal to mean pain.

So you could technically say that biting tinfoil doesn’t hurt, it’s all in your head!

Options For Non-metal Fillings

Accidental tinfoil zapping pain aside, there are other reasons to swap out your metal filling. From a purely aesthetic point, metal fillings are very obvious and cannot be blended to match your teeth. With good oral hygiene practices, non-metal fillings generally last 5-7 years. Some options when choosing non-metal fillings are:

  • Composite resin – With a composite resin, your dentist can match your teeth closely enough that you likely won’t be able to tell a difference. The resin will bond tightly with the tooth, supporting it from further decay. Also, resin is commonly used to repair broken, chipped, and worn teeth. Usually the most affordable non-metal option.
  • Glass ionomer – Made with a mix of acrylic and glass, this type of non-metal filling is generally for below the gum fillings and young children. This kind of filling releases fluoride from its position in your mouth. This can help against further decay occurring. It costs are usually comparable to composite resin.
  • Porcelain – This type of filling is highly resistant to staining. It is more abrasive than a composite resin and may feel rough when your tongue makes contact with the filling. However, it can last up to 15 years and is one of the more expensive options when choosing a non-metal filling.

Dr. Taylor has made it his business to make your smile as perfect as possible. So if you are ready to swap out those metal fillings or need other dental services, then Taylor General & Cosmetic Dentistry is here to help you achieve your perfect smile.

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