Dental implants are a common correction for missing teeth and to support other forms of dental work such as bridges. Dental implants have been in use since the 1950s and are made of titanium. They are attached directly to the jawbone, making for a sturdy and long lasting replacement tooth that functions just like regular teeth do. Without proper upkeep, however, infections can occur.

If you have dental implants and find yourself with bad breath, your gums bleeding after brushing, swelling, or a bad taste in your mouth, you may have a dental implant infection. Such infections can be hard to detect and the signs are often subtle. If left untreated, infections can cause dental implants to loosen or fall out.

Below is more information on what causes these types of infections and what can be done to treat them.

What Causes a Dental Implant to Become Infected?

A dental implant becoming infected is rarely caused by the implant itself. Modern dental implants are carefully packaged and sterilized to prevent infection. Because of this, any infection to a properly installed dental implant is generally caused by germs and bacteria that are already in the mouth.

The most common cause of infection is due to a lack of regular dental care such as brushing, flossing and regular cleanings. Without proper care, bacteria begin to form on the implant. This can lead to an inflammation of the mucous membrane along the gum line called mucositis. If the condition is not corrected, it can cause a more advanced condition called peri-implantitis, which causes bone loss and inflammation around the dental implant and, in time, may cause it to become loose or fall out.

Treating a Dental Implant Infection

The best method to prevent dental implants from becoming infected is to be proactive. You can do this by brushing regularly, flossing, avoiding smoking, and getting regular checkups. Having regular cleanings done by your dentist allows for any early signs of infection to be detected. The earlier an infection is caught the easier it is to treat. Treatment can involve cleaning to remove bacteria, specialized mouthwash, or an antibiotic.

In extreme cases, surgery may be required to remove infection and if the infection is too severe the dental implant may have to be removed and replaced. As with any other ailment, early detection helps prevent worst case scenarios.

Dental Implants at Coral Gables Dentistry

When you need dental implants in Miami or Coral Gables, you want to work with an experienced professional dentist. Gables Sedation & Family Dentistry is dedicated to providing service that is held to the highest professional standards. Our dental implant procedure is carefully performed to fit every individual patient’s needs. Please contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation.