No doubt about it, dental implants have revolutionized the way we deal with lost teeth. Not only is having a complete smile key for appearance purposes, but missing teeth can jeopardize the health of the entire mouth. Dental implants are usually worry-free, but a condition known as peri-implantitis might flare up in your mouth. To find out more, read below.
How Does Peri-implantitis Present?
This type of gum inflammation begins the way almost all do and the signs can easily be missed. You might notice some swelling, discomfort, and gum tenderness that point to an infection in the gum brought on by the dental implant procedure or other things. Just having dental implants is no reason to believe this condition will occur but everyone needs to watch out for signs of gum inflammation. Unfortunately, the longer a patient waits to have the infection addressed the greater the damage. In some cases, permanent bone loss and the destruction of the implant are possible if the infection is left untreated. That is why you must seek care at the first sign of problems and never miss a dental check-up appointment.
How Peri-implantitis is Treated
Fortunately, there's a big difference in what can happen if you seek treatment right away or put things off for a while. Depending on how far the infection has progressed, you can expect the following to happen after you seek help from your dentist:
- Antibiotics may be necessary to help reduce the chances of the bacteria spreading to other areas of your body and to reduce the gum infection. You may be prescribed an oral antibiotic but your dentist may apply some directly to your affected area as well.
- A complete cleaning of the area is necessary to get rid of infected tissues and pus.
- If things have progressed to the point of bone loss, your implant may be at risk and you may need a bone graft for your jawbone. In that case, surgery to open up the gum area is needed and some bone material is grafted to the remaining bone under the gums. If the implant is structurally sound, you may be able to keep it; but many times the implant has to be completely replaced.
Peri-implantitis can be caused by a compromised immune system, improper dental hygiene habits, teeth grinding, smoking, medications, and more. Talk to your dentist about how to ensure your gorgeous implants stay that way for life.
For more information, reach out to a dental clinic, such as Pittsburgh Dental Spa.