Dental implants are a great way to reclaim your smile if you have lost teeth due to accidents or decay. However, once the implants are installed, you can get infections in and around them. Responding quickly to any oral infection is critical, but if you have an infection around an implant, you need to respond even faster to get the situation under control.
Here is a look at a few common infections and how to treat them:
1. Post-implant infections
In many cases, people who receive dental implants get infections in the first week or two after the implants are installed. With this infection, your gums may feel sore and look red and puffy. Contact your dentist as soon as you start to notice the symptoms and schedule an appointment.
It is important to get antibodies as soon as possible so your body can get the infection under control.
2. Pus-filled infections
In other cases, you may notice a bit of pus and a red inflamed area just where the implant meets your gum. This type of infection occurs when the implant is loose–as it rubs against the gum, it irritates it, causing it to become red and inflamed. Additionally, as food gets trapped in the area between the tooth and the gum, bacteria can build up, further aggravating the infection.
The solution for this type of infection is also antibodies from your dentist, but when you visit the dentist, he or she will also tighten the screw holding your implant in place.
3. Receding gums
In most cases, people who get implants already suffer from a myriad of dental problems that may or may not include gum diseases. If your gum disease gets worse while you have your implants, your gums will start to recede, exposing more of the root of the implant.
As a result, bacteria will find it easier to get around the implant, causing even more gum infections. The best way to prevent this from happening is to take care of your gums–remember to brush, flush and rinse on a regular basis. If your gums do start to recede, talk with your dentist to ensure you have the right medication and the best antibacterial toothpaste.
4. Infected bone
In some cases, people with implants may get bone infections or their bones may start to recede. If the bone breaks down, the implant has nothing to anchor itself to, and you may ultimately have to find a new solution to your missing teeth.
Unfortunately, you cannot feel bone breaking down. To ensure your bone is healthy, you need to schedule regular appointments with a dentist (such as Thomas H. Seal DDS) so he or she can look at your bone and make sure it is not wearing away. If it begins to wear away, you cannot regenerate it, but you can begin to take medications that strengthen the bone.
If your bone gets infected, you need a strong course of antibodies as soon as possible–bone infections can be extremely dangerous.