woman brushing her teeth, taking care of her dental implantsWhen you received your new dental implants, you expected all your problems to be over. For most people, this is true. However, some can develop peri-implantitis.

Peri-implantitis is an infection similar to gum disease caused by bacteria building up around the implant, below the gumline. Three situations primarily drive it. First, you’re at a higher risk if you have a compromised immune system. Be sure to keep an eye out for peri-implantitis if you have diabetes or another systemic condition. Also, keep in mind that smoking compromises your immune system and restricts blood flow to your gums. So, refrain from smoking with dental implants. Next, poor oral hygiene habits can lead to this dental implant and gum infection. Even though your implant is not a natural tooth, the tissues holding it in place are susceptible to infection, so it’s crucial to have good oral hygiene. Finally, habits like teeth grinding can exacerbate peri-implantitis because it weakens your gums and jawbone.

If you suspect peri-implantitis, seek treatment before it gets worse.

Signs of Peri-Implantitis

Like gum disease, peri-implantitis is a condition that will continue to worsen without treatment. It will not simply “go away.”

  • Gums that are red, inflamed, and tender.
  • Bleeding gums when brushing your teeth.
  • Bleeding gums without brushing your teeth.
  • Receding gums around the implant
  • Pus oozing from the gum pocket. You’ll likely notice this as a foul taste in your mouth.
  • The metal thread of the implant becomes exposed.
  • Loose implant.
  • Bone loss.
  • Pain.

Dangers of Peri-Implantitis

If left untreated, peri-implantitis can spread throughout your body and cause other, more severe problems. First, you’ll lose jawbone mass, and eventually, your implant will fall out. But don’t assume that since your implant is gone that the infection will go with it.

The infection began around your dental implant but has spread to your bone and will continue to spread, affecting the rest of your body. Just as in gum disease, peri-implantitis puts you at a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, kidney failure, and respiratory problems. Additionally, the infection enters your bloodstream through your jawbone, which will worsen existing conditions and cause secondary infections.

How To Take Care of Your Dental Implants

Taking care of your dental implants is just like taking care of your natural teeth. Whether you have a full mouth of implants, or only one or two, you’ll still need to practice good oral hygiene to avoid peri-implantitis and have a beautiful smile.

  1. Brush your teeth twice per day.
  2. Floss at the end of the day.
  3. Use mouthwash after brushing your teeth.
  4. Visit your Midtown Manhattan dentist twice per year. If you have a history of gum disease or a compromised immune system, you may need to see your dentist more often.

In addition to your daily teeth cleaning habits, it’s also important to eat a healthy diet that isn’t too heavy in sugars or acids, replace your toothbrush every three to four months, and avoid tobacco use.

Sugar hides well in prepackaged foods and drinks. One easy way to cut down on sugar is to avoid sugary drinks like soda, energy drinks, and sugary coffee drinks.

Don’t Wait, Seek Treatment

If you think you may be developing peri-implantitis, seek treatment right away. This disease is progressional, and if you stop it in its early stages, you’ll be able to keep your implant or get it replaced, maintain your jawbone density, and spend less money on treatment.

Make an appointment at your Midtown Manhattan implant dentist as soon as you start noticing the signs of peri-implantitis, and it’s likely we will be able to do a thorough cleaning to destroy the harmful bacteria. We will also prescribe antibiotics to remove any bacteria we may have missed. In this situation, you’ll be able to keep your existing implant.

If the disease is more severe, we’ll need to remove your implant and ultimately eradicate the bacteria before replacing your missing bone with a bone graft. After a bone graft and healing, you may be able to get another implant, but a different tooth replacement option might be necessary, depending on your circumstance. If that’s the case, we can recommend the best tooth replacement option for you and your lifestyle.

Treat Your Peri-Implantitis in Midtown Manhattan

Dr. Karthilde Appolon and her team are experienced in treating peri-implantitis and placing dental implants. If you worry that you may have a problem with your dental implant, call Dr. Appolon and her team at (212) 557-8668. They’ll be able to diagnose the issue and help you get it fixed. Peri-implantitis isn’t something to mess around with, so make sure to call as soon as you can or make an appointment online. With a team of dental implant experts behind you, you can become pain-free and avoid the complications of peri-implantitis and other dental implant issues.