Dental implants are a great solution to a variety of dental problems. These implants help over 500,000 people in the United States every year. Once you have one, however, it’s critical that you take good care of it.
Having an infected dental implant can be dangerous and painful. If you experience any of these serious symptoms of infection, you should see a dentist right away.
1. Pus and Swollen Gums
One of the most obvious dental implant infection signs is pus around the implant or red and swollen gums near the implanted tooth. These are the same symptoms as infections in other parts of the body, so they will be familiar.
It’s normal for your gums to swell and bleed for a day or so after your implant surgery. However, if the swelling gets worse or there is pus as well as bleeding, it is a sign of infection.
2. Pain Around the Implanted Tooth
Pain is another serious symptom to monitor. It is normal to have some pain and discomfort around your implant immediately after you get it. You should be able to manage that pain with pain medication, either over-the-counter or prescribed by your dental surgeon.
If the pain isn’t improving, is getting worse, or is spreading beyond the immediate area of the implant, that could be a sign of serious infection.
3. Persistent Bad Breath
Another tell-tale sign of a dental implant infection is persistent bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth that won’t go away, even after brushing your teeth.
This is a condition called dysgeusia. Bacterial infections can cause dysgeusia, which interferes with your taste buds. Metallic, bitter tastes in the mouth are the most common way that dysgeusia alters your taste.
The Dangers of an Infected Dental Implant
Good oral hygiene is critical for proper dental implant care. Regular brushing and flossing are especially important for dental implants.
While mild infections can be treated without removing the implant, more serious infections might damage it. Getting an infected implant replaced is a hassle, but there are also serious medical consequences for leaving an infected implant untreated.
An infection anywhere in your body can quickly become dangerous, and an infection in a dental implant is no different. Untreated, a dental implant infection can turn into peri-implantitis, which can cause bone loss in your jaw.
Like most bacterial infections, if you don’t get peri-implantitis treated quickly it can spread to other parts of your body. Peri-implantitis is a fairly aggressive infection and it can eventually lead to organ damage. Even if your symptoms seem mild, you should see a dentist to prevent a much larger future medical issue.
Get Treatment for Your Infection
Dental implant problems don’t have to have serious consequences. Seeing a dentist soon after you notice your symptoms will help you avoid long-term damage to your mouth and dental implants.
If you think you have an infected dental implant, don’t wait to make an appointment. Come see us, and get the infection under control so you can start to feel better.