A dental implant is a great solution for those who are looking to get restorative work to get a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile. Because they function like natural teeth, they can also be prone to infections. They can fall out or become diseased if they are not given the proper care – just like your natural teeth.
There are many instances that can lead to dental implant infection. Although poor oral hygiene can lead to it, it is sometimes a matter of dental routine that does not address the implant’s needs. Using tobacco can lead to oral infections. You might also have an allergic reaction to the implant, which can sometimes happen at a later time and lead to an infection.
Chronic health conditions such as diabetes and a compromised immune system can lead to the development of an infection at the site of the implant. If your bite misaligns because of tooth loss, injury or illness, it can lead to the growth of bacteria and eventually to an infection. Teeth clenching and grinding can also be another cause.
If you have dental implants and think they might be infected, here are the following signs to look out for.
Bad breath or bad taste – Infected implants, particularly those that are of low quality, emit a smell that cause bad breath and give a horrible taste in the mouth. If you taste something unusual or your bad breath does not go away after brushing or flossing, your implant might be infected.
Bleeding or pus – If you notice pus or blood coming out of your gums or implant area, you probably have an infection. Some only experience bleeding during brushing, which still is a cause for concern.
Fever or pain – Most bacterial infections in the mouth come with fever and pain in the implant area. This is your body’s way to put up its defenses to fight off the bacteria.
Difficulty chewing – If your dental implants are not made with titanium, chances are that they will have trouble chewing even when the area is not infected. Titanium implants are sturdy and seamlessly meld with your gums and jawbone so you can still chew normally.
Red or swollen gums – A key indicator of an implant infection is red and swollen gums. Even when your gums do not look swollen, they might be swollen to the touch.
Loose implant – A lesser quality implant has more potential to experiencing infection problems. A loose or wobbly implant that feels like it is falling out is most likely infected and has to be replaced with one that is of higher quality.
Remember that an infected dental implant can lead to serious oral damage when it is left untreated. If you think you have one, call your dentist immediately. With dental implants, it is important that you get professional care on a regular basis. Of course, it helps to have good oral hygiene at home as well. Talk to a dental care expert to learn more about implants.