Preventing Peri-Implantitis After Your Successful Dental Implant

After you have had a dental implant, you are probably thrilled with the appearance of your smile and the quality of your bite and teeth. However, you will need to ensure that your dental implant stays healthy, remains stable and doesn't start to deteriorate. Peri-implantitis is a disease that affects implants and the area around dental implants, which can compromise your oral health and the state of your implant. You should be aware of peri-implantitis, know the warning signs, and understand how to prevent it from taking your new dental implant from you. 

What Is Peri-Implantitis?

Peri-implantitis is a type of inflammatory disease that affects the area of the gums and bone around your dental implant. The bacteria that cause peri-implantitis are markedly similar to the bacteria that cause various periodontal diseases present in people who have never had implants, like periodontitis.

Peri-implantitis will gradually destroy and break down not only your gums, but the bones that surround the infected dental implant. If not treated quickly and properly, peri-implantitis can lead to dental implant failure. If your dental implant has failed due to peri-implantitis, you might not be able to get another implant in the same location, depending on the amount of damage that peri-Implantitis has done to the area. Other times, if the implant fails but the disease is not too severe, you might be able to have have another implant installed after your implant has been removed and your dentist has given your mouth time to heal. 

What Are The Signs Of Peri-Implantitis?

There are a number of indicators of peri-implantitis, including some that only your dentist will be able to detect and observe. However there are common symptoms that you will be able to detect. Color change in the gum surrounding the implant is the most noticeable symptom. Your gums may start to darken, but they can also start to turn white or yellow. Bleeding gums around the implant while you brushing your teeth is another common symptom. Your implant might also have pus draining from the area surrounding the implant. 

How Is Peri-Implantitis Treated? 

If your peri-implantitis is detected early, your dentist will most likely start you on an antibiotic course to try to kill the bacteria that has started to flourish. Your dentist will also prescribe you a prescription strength mouthwash that you should use daily. For more severe cases, your dentist might have to remove the dying and dead gum tissue, which can be done under anesthesia. Your dentist will also most likely want to deep clean the area around the implant to try to remove any built up dead tissue and bacteria. 

How Can You Prevent Peri-Implantitis?

It is much better to practice healthy habits that can prevent peri-implantitis, rather than having to treat it once a problem has developed. To prevent peri-implantitis, you should avoid smoking at all costs after your dental implant surgery; you need to brush and floss twice daily, as well. Brushing around your implant should be done normally, but when you floss around an implanted tooth you need to take care that you don't insert the floss too deeply, as this can widen areas for bacteria growth. You also need to visit the dentist for maintenance at least twice a year so that they can deep clean and examine your implant. 

Stay vigilant in looking for signs and symptoms of peri-implantitis after your implants, and ensure that you are engaging in a thorough oral hygiene routine in order to avoid peri-implantitis. If you have concerns, you can speak with the dentist or periodontist that worked on your implants for more tips and pointers to keeping your implants healthy and happy and avoiding complete disaster!