A Creeping Danger: Peri-implantitis

Dental implants require oral hygiene to prevent peri-implantitis. Everyone knows that there are harmful bacteria that can make us feel very sick, which is why many people need to take antibiotics when they get an infection. Harmful bacteria can spread through the body and cause failure to your vital organs, among other complications. In dental implant patients, harmful bacteria is their worst nightmare because it can cause a disease called peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis is an inflammatory disease that occurs around the gums surrounding dental implants.  This disease will not only inflame the gums, making it painful and uncomfortable, but it will also deplete the jawbone that anchors the dental implants.  Once the bone depletes, it will loosen your dental implants, and they will eventually fall out. Dental implants can offer patients many benefits, but it requires maintenance and thorough cleaning to keep bacteria at bay.

About Bacteria

Bacteria often gets a bad rap, but there are also good bacteria that helps our body function properly. Bacteria are one celled organisms that are extremely small and will either be in the shape of a rod, spiral, or ball. Good bacteria can help people digest their food better, destroy harmful disease causing cells, and can replenish the body with vitamins. Foods such as yogurt contain bacteria cultures that are especially good in helping your digestion.
Infectious bacteria on the other hand can really harm the body and make you ill.  These harmful bacteria reproduce quickly and secrete toxins that will damage your tissue.  Peri-implantitis is caused by these harmful bacteria that have been left unattended for too long. The characteristics of this disease are usually, inflamed gums and the gradual depletion of the jawbone that supports the dental implants.
Unfortunately, peri-implantitis is not a well-known disease and treatment is not an easy task. According to the Adult Dental Health survey, half-million adults have at least one dental implant. This is not to say that all these patients will acquire peri-implantitis. Prevention in maintaining oral hygiene is the best defense against this disease.  The stage before peri-implantitis, often referred to as peri-implant mucositis, is treatable and common among dental implant patients. The early signs include: red and swollen gums and bleeding when gums are probed. If infection is undetected, it will continue to develop until it reaches peri-implantitis.
Maintaining dental implants is not a difficult task and requires that you are diligent in removing plaque from your teeth and implants.  Excess plaque can seep into the gums and if allowed to fester underneath, it will cause an infection.  Bone loss is painless, which is why many people will not realize that they are developing bacterial infections. To help prevent this, in-office cleanings are essential in combating these infections from persisting.

Contact Dr. Fred A. Puccio in Wyckoff, NJ

Dental implants are the most reliable teeth replacing system available for patients with missing teeth and many patients continue to enjoy having oral function and health with their dental implants.  But it is crucial that oral hygiene is maintained to prevent bacterial infections from compromising the success of your dental implants.  If you have any further question or would like to discuss your candidacy for dental implants, please contact us to schedule your FREE, no-obligation consultation today!  Peri-implantitis is a serious disease that can be avoided to allow dental implants to serve missing teeth patients.