Infected Dental Implants
Nearly 70 percent of adults in the US between the age of 35 and 44 have lost one or more or their permanent teeth. Regardless of if the tooth loss is from decay, trauma, or severe gum disease, dental implants may be a good solution for replacing their missing teeth.
Dental implants are gaining popularity as an excellent solution for replacing missing teeth. Approximately 500,000 patients undergo an implant procedure annually in the US. In most cases, the implant procedure is successful and does not have complications. However, complications such as infections can happen.
The article below will review common signs of implant infections and how to respond if an infection is present.
Difficulty Chewing and Pain
While some discomfort is to be expected following the implant procedure, it should be able to be managed using an over-the-counter pain medication. In cases where the pain worsens or does not improve over time, there is a chance of infection. An infection is likely especially when the pain is impacting routine activities such as talking and chewing.
Redness, Fever, and Swelling
Similar to pain, some swelling following the surgical procedure is normal with dental implants. However, the swelling should improve after a few days. When the swelling and redness worsens, particularly when it is associated with a fever, is a sign that infection may be present.
Implant infections are caused by a buildup of debris and bad bacteria. When the bacteria and debris sit on the gums and leak into the mouth, it may cause a bad taste in the mouth. There may also be noticeable and continuous bad breath.
Leaking Pus or Bleeding
When infection exists in the body, red and white blood cells go to the impacted area to destroy the pathogens and fight the infection. When the gums are infected, there may be pus and blood which leaks into the mouth. If bleeding continues or worsens for more than a few days following the implant procedure, it is likely due to the presence of infection.
Implant Becomes Loose
Dental implants are placed directly onto the jaw bone. During the healing process, the implant actually fuses to the bone. Once the implant is securely placed, it should not come loose or move. When implants become loose, it is a sign that there is an issue. It may be a sign of infection and patients should follow up with their dentist.
In the event you experience any of the symptoms listed above, there is a chance of an implant infection and it is critical to act quickly. The problem should never be ignored as it can worsen the issue and result in long-term damage. In addition, there is a risk that the infection could spreading to other areas of the body. Follow up with your dentist right away if you experience any of these signs.
Avoid Implant Issues
In order to avoid the risk of infection following an implant procedure, it is vital to closely follow the instructions and recommendations provided by the dentist. This may include resting and allowing your mouth adequate time to heal following the procedure and eating soft foods while the mouth recovers. In addition, patients should ensure they are working with a qualified, well-trained dentist who specializes in implants. In some cases, the infection may be out of your control. Follow up with your dentist immediately to ensure prompt treatment. In some cases, the solution may be as simple as taking a prescribed antibiotic.