Everything You Need to Know About Dental Implant Infection

A picture perfect smile is what everyone loves to flash. But not quite often are people blessed with the best. Cut to the present, the advancement in implant surgery now lets you have that perfect set of teeth to flash a quick elegant smile. 

The Implant Surgery replaces a root of a lost tooth by inserting a metal screw in the jaw bone. A crown-shaped crown is then mounted on the implant post. Implant teeth are able to function as natural teeth and can be fixed using an artificial root.

The tooth implants can be damaged like a human tooth but they pose a risk for infection.

What is Dental Implant Infection?

Infection in the implants is usually caused by bacteria accumulation on the gums around the implants due to poor oral hygiene. This infection can lead to “Peri-implantitis”, which is a gum inflammation disease that weakens the fixed implant tooth and causes inflammation in the tissues neighboring the implant. 

Poor oral hygiene and smoking are two of the most common causes of infection. Even though an artificial implanted tooth can’t get cavities, they can get infected similar to any natural tooth. If left untreated, it can cause bone loss and a complete dental implant failure. 

What causes Dental Implant Failure?

Apart from personal hygiene, Implant failure can also be caused by allergic reactions to foreign objects, and genetics. Implant teeth are at high risk for infection due to the following:

  • Low bone density
  • Proper sterilization of tools for dental work before placing them in the mouth
  • The body may refuse to accept the implant in rare cases.
  • Smoking
  • Poor Oral Hygiene
  • Poor workmanship in fixing implants
  • Immune system problems
  • Diabetes

Since we have seen what are the causes, now let’s dive into the common signs of a dental implant infection that needs immediate checkup with your dentist. 

Signs of Infection

1. Puss and bleeding

Pus surrounding a dental implant is caused by infection of the gums, or complications in the soft and hard tissues mounting the implant. It is important to treat it immediately as it can cause further damage and weaken the integration of the implant with the jawbone. 

Don’t rule out the medical assistance for bleeding gums as well. Dental attention should be given immediately for bleeding gum that usually occurs around a fixed dental implant.

2. Exposition of implant threads

Exposed implants can often leave a sense of extreme discomfort. Gum recession is likely to be one of the most important signs of an implant failure. An immediate medical action is required if you notice the gum recession. 

Gum recession is caused by infection of the gums. Implant components like fixture and abutment are visible when the gums recede. These cases increase the likelihood that the implants will become loose or wiggle. It can cause pain when it is biting or other discomforts.

3.  Redness or swelling in the gums

Gum swelling can be a sign of various oral problems. It is not something to be concerned about as it is known to disappear on its own with right home remedies.

Implant recipients should be aware that they are more likely to develop peri-implantitis. The inflammation of the gums around the implant can also occur. Implant infection can be caused by reddening gums that have not responded to treatment. 

4. Implant is moving or loose

Your implanted teeth will not feel any different from regular normal teeth if it is properly anchored in your jawbone. Implants often feel natural apart from the initial few days when they are healing. But once the healing process is done, no one will know you have them unless you tell them.

However your dentist should be consulted if your implants feel unnatural or shake around loosely that shows it has not been placed properly in the region. This happens if there is any bone loss or bacterial infection around the implant. 

This condition is easy to identify, but if it’s not treated promptly, it can cause severe damage to the jawbone.

5. Bad Breath and Unpleasant Taste

Infected implants can also cause unpleasant odors in the mouth, as well as dental diseases, and other health problems. Microbial leakage occurs around the implanted region. Bad breath can be a result of an untreated infection. 

It can also alter the taste of the mouth that usually leaves a bitter or sour taste. Infected implants can cause a change in taste. Bad quality implants materials are also responsible for infecting these implants.

6. Chewing Difficulty

You may experience difficulty chewing if you don’t have titanium dental implants. Titanium implants fuse naturally with bone and are stronger than other types, so you can still enjoy your favorite foods.

7. Chronic pain and fever

While it is indeed very common to feel pain in the area of an implant after the procedure as a part of the healing process, it usually disappears after implantation. However, if the pain around the implant area is experienced for a prolonged time, it is considered abnormal. 

The implant may be dangerous if the pain radiates or becomes more severe especially  when you bite into something. The body’s defense system is affected when bacteria is accumulated in the implanted region which causes Fever as a sign of a weak immune system. 

Treatment of Dental Implant Failure or Infection

There are some possibilities for why your dental implant can fail, but “osseointegration”(improper bonding of implants with the jawbone) is the most common reason. 

Two types of dental implants can fail. Implant failures can be caused by inflammation of the bone surrounding the implants.

Two possible reasons implant failures can occur

Breakage of Implant

You don’t have to have major surgery if an implant fails and your jawbones aren’t damaged. To avoid any further damage, you should notify your dentist. The damaged implants will be replaced by a new one. To ensure a long-lasting lifespan, an in-depth analysis is done to determine the root cause of the implant’s failure.

Osseointegration is another reason implant failure is common, as we have already mentioned. This problem can be fixed by a dentist in two ways. This depends on whether the implant has been infected, or if there is bone loss.

If bone loss is severe

This procedure is used to treat severe bone loss prior to the implant being removed. This helps to build new bones.

If bone loss is moderate

The dentist will determine the root cause of bone loss and inflammation. The failed implant will then be removed and the area affected is left to heal before being replaced. The healing process can take several months.

These problems can be fixed by our dentists. To find the best solution to your problem, you can make an appointment.

Bottomline 

Implant infections should not be ignored as they can cause implant failure and other health problems. Sometimes, the dentist will be able to remove the implant. In these cases, however, it is possible to treat the problem without removing the implant. After noticing any of the above symptoms, it is crucial to schedule a consultation with your dentist.

Dental Implants

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