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Understanding Peri-implantitis and What It Means for Your Oral Health

Posted on 4/20/2019 by Robert Henshaw, DMD
Understanding Peri-implantitis and What It Means for Your Oral HealthYour mouth is a hotbed of bacteria, teeming with both benign and harmful germs. When these germs target your dental implant, you face the risk of a major infection at the site called "peri-implantitis".

This infection can be so severe that, without surgical intervention, you could lose your dental implant due to failure. Being able to quickly identify this infection is vital to save your implant.

Preventing Your Dental Implant from Failing

Peri-implantitis is difficult to identify, and because it can show up any point after your implant surgery, catching it early can be a challenge. Signs of this infection include:

•  Bleeding gums
•  Change of color (purple, red, or blue) gums
•  Pus at the site of the implant
•  Swollen gums
•  Pain and sensitivity
•  Exposure of the implant

While this infection can target anyone, certain demographics tend to be more susceptible to it. Smokers, diabetics, and people who do not practice good oral hygiene are more likely to have complications from peri-implantitis.

While the implant itself cannot decay like a tooth, taking care of your gums around it is important to ensure that you will not lose your implant. Using the same methods that you would employ to prevent periodontal disease can help ward off peri-implantitis, including brushing twice a day and flossing.

Once we diagnosis our patients with peri-implantitis, we can start treatment for this infection. Often, we may have to prescribe antibiotics to help combat the infection. Surgery and bone grafting are often required to help treat the infected implant. Because the area is vulnerable, peri-implantitis is considered a chronic disease and will require a lifetime of maintenance and upkeep to prevent relapse from occurring.

Our office understands gum health, and we also know how to properly diagnose and treat peri-implantitis. If your implant is starting to show signs of infection, it's vital that you give our office a call right away. Our skilled and professional staff will be able to assess the health of your gums and if we determine that you have an infection your implant site, immediately start treatment to help save it.
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