Peri implantitis is an oral disease that affects the gum tissue surrounding a dental implant. This disease occurs when food particles, plaque and bacteria build-up in the gums, around the dental implant.
Similar to gum disease, peri implantitis can cause gum recession, tooth decay, tooth loss, and eventually deterioration of the jaw bone. Peri implantitis (like gum disease) progresses in stages. In the early peri implantitis stages, a person may experience swollen, tender gums and gum sensitivity. As the stages progress, the gums start to bleed, the dental implant will loosen up, and the jaw becomes tender and increasingly sensitive.
What are the symptoms of peri implantitis?
The common symptoms of peri implantitis include:
- Inflammation of the gums
- Bleeding gums
- Redness and swelling in the gum tissue around the implant
- Receding gums
- Pocket formation between the gums and the dental implant
- Visible dental implant threads
- Loosened dental implant
- Pus in the gums around the dental implant
- Unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Jaw pain due to bone deterioration
Can peri implantitis be treated?
Yes, peri implantitis can be treated, but most importantly—peri implantitis can be prevented! It’s always better to prevent a disease than to treat it after it’s already developed.
Although you can only develop peri implantitis if you have dental implants, this doesn’t mean you will develop this disease if you have dental implants. Taking proper care of your dental implants and committing to a daily cleaning routine will prevent this disease.
In the early stages, treatment of peri implantitis can be highly-effective and relatively simple. When the initial symptoms (gum sensitivity and inflammation) start to arise, we can perform a deep cleaning, similar to a scaling and root planing procedure. Antibiotics may be prescribed to kill the bacteria and stop the infection in the gums and around the implant.
For severe cases of peri implantitis, a surgical procedure to remove the implant, along with a bone grafting treatment to restore the deteriorated bone, may be the most effective treatment method. Before bone grafting can take place, the infection has to be completely eradicated, or else the grafting procedure will be rendered pointless and the infection will continue to progress.
Depending on your condition and the severity of your condition, we may suggest one treatment method over the other. When you visit either of our offices in Tampa or New Port Richey, we will assess your condition, discuss peri implantitis treatment costs, and work with you to create a treatment plan that eliminates the infection and preserves as much healthy tissue and bone as possible.
How to Prevent Peri Implantitis
Proper care of your dental implants can prevent the need for treatment of peri implantitis all together. Here’s what you can do to prevent this disease:
- Brush your teeth regularly—thoroughly, but carefully. Use a soft-bristle brush to prevent damage to your dental implant. Brush your teeth at least twice a day to minimize plaque and bacteria.
- Floss everyday. You may be surprised at the amount of bacteria that can build up around your gum line! If you don’t floss regularly to clean these hard-to-reach spaces, you’re allowing bacteria to flourish. Flourishing bacteria will quickly lead to peri implantitis.
- Use mouthwash as frequently as possible. The best mouthwash for dental implants is an antimicrobial mouthwash that doesn’t contain alcohol or whitening agents. Alcohol can affect the way your immune system responds to an infection, and whitening agents are often abrasive and damaging to your implants.
Take care of your teeth and dental implants and they will take care of you! If you have dental implants or are considering dental implants, you don’t have to fear peri implantitis. It isn’t difficult to maintain clean implants. We will explain everything you need to know about dental implant maintenance and care before you leave your appointment.