If you’ve been through the process of getting a dental implant, you definitely don’t want to lose it. At Dr. Lis Bradley’s Brentwood dental office, we’re proud to say that our patients’ experiences with implants have been overwhelmingly positive. But inflammation around an implant, also known as peri-implantitis, can be a major problem, which is why we want to make sure our patients understand it.
In the absence of an autoimmune disorder, gingivitis (gum inflammation) is probably the result of a gum pocket infection. Gum pockets are a great place for decay-causing bacteria to hide. As they feed, they excrete acid, which sticks to plaque and irritates the surrounding tissue. Acid also wears away at a tooth’s root, regardless of whether the root is natural or an implant post. Severe gingivitis, known as periodontal disease, can result in loss of gum and bone tissue, causing the implant to come loose. If an implant is mobile, or twenty percent of the surrounding bone tissue has been lost, it needs to be removed.
Since it can take six months for an implant to integrate with the jaw bone, it would be a shame if the process had to be repeated. Patients should take red, sensitive, or bleeding gums as a sign that they need to schedule a cleaning. If an infection is caught early enough, we can do a scaling to remove decayed material.