You are very excited about your dental implant. They feel so natural and comfortable in your mouth that no one can say it's an artificial tooth. But, lately, you are experiencing some strange sensations. Is something wrong with your implant?
Can Dental Implants Get Infected?
While implants don't get cavities, they can get infected and fail. The reason is usually peri-implantitis, an inflammatory condition that affects the tissues around dental implants. Similar to periodontitis with natural teeth, peri-implantitis can lead to the loss of supporting bone structure around the implant, and in severe cases, the loss of the implant itself.
How would one get peri-implantitis? Here are some possible causes:
- Bacterial Infection: Bacteria accumulated around the implant can lead to the inflammation of the gums and even bone loss if not regularly and effectively cleaned.
- Poor Oral Hygiene: Lack of oral hygiene will enable plaque and bacteria to build up and increase the risks of peri-implantitis.
- Poor Fitting: Improperly placed or overloaded dental implants can lead to micro-movements. This constant stress on the bone and gum tissue can lead to inflammation and bone loss.
- Smoking: Smoking will reduce blood flow, and delay the healing process, all of which can increase the risk of peri-implantitis.
- History of Periodontitis: If you already have a history of periodontitis, you are at a higher risk of developing peri-implantitis.
Signs Your Implant Is Infected
Here's how you can tell your implant is infected:
- Persistent Pain: Some level of discomfort is normal for a few days after implant surgery, but persistent pain around the implant area can indicate an infection.
- Swelling or Redness: The gum tissue around the implant is swollen or red. This is a sign of inflammation and you need to see a dentist near you immediately.
- Bleeding: Bleeding when brushing the implant isn't normal and it can be another common symptom of an infection.
- Pus: If an abscess forms around the implant, this is a strong indication of infection.
- Loose Implant: If all these signs are ignored, the infection can lead to bone loss over time. As a result, the implant might start to feel loose.
- Bad Breath or Taste: An ongoing infection can sometimes cause a foul taste in your mouth or bad breath.
- Pain while Chewing: If the implant becomes loose or painful, it can cause difficulty or discomfort while eating.
How Is an Infected Implant Treated?
If you notice any of these signs, it's important to get in touch with your dentist as soon as possible as early detection and intervention are key in saving the implant. Based on your case and symptoms, the dentist may try to treat the infection with antibiotics and maybe surgery to remove the infected part. In more severe cases, the implant may need to be removed.
Are you experiencing any worrying symptoms with your implant? Don't wait a minute longer and get in touch with Dr. Leah Divito from Luminous Dental right now.
Contact us online or by calling (234) 269-5288 to book your appointment.