5 Tips For Preventing Dental Implant Infections
The risk of a dental implant failing is less than 5%. The most common cause of this failure is a bacterial infection called peri-implantitis. This infection can cause pain, swelling, tenderness, and a loss of bone. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the jawbone. The most common bacteria in peri-implantitis is an oral anaerobe, which lives in the deep pockets of periodontal disease. The bacteria are also present in plaque, tartar, and dental plaque. They make their home underneath the gum margins. If dimples and ridges are underneath the gum margins, the bacteria can travel into your bloodstream. When these bacteria enter your bloodstream, they can cause a wide range of symptoms, including elevated body temperature, fevers, and sweats. After these symptoms have gone untreated, they can result in a peri-implant abscess. Peri-implant abscesses must be drained and treated with antibiotics and surgery. Fortunately, it does not have to go that far. Here are a few tips from The Stein Center on how to prevent dental implant infections.
1. Clean the Implant Well
The first step is thoroughly cleaning the area around the implant with saline solution or a bottle of hydrogen peroxide. Use a mouthwash that is designed to help prevent infections. The bigger implant, the longer it should be cleaned. While you can use a toothbrush to clean the implant, some dentists recommend using an antiseptic mouth irrigator instead.
2. Avoid Smoking
Smokers are more likely to develop infections around implants than non-smokers. If you are a smoker, you should quit or at least limit it to just one or two daily cigarettes. The toxins from smoking can damage the body’s immune system and make it more sensitive to infections. In addition to this, smoking prevents the bone from merging with the implant. Smoking is highly addictive and difficult to quit. An excellent way to avoid damaging your body from smoking is to limit it as much as possible.
3. Limit Sweets and Sugary Drinks
Sugar leads to tooth decay and further encourages bacterial growth in your mouth. The bacteria can then stick to the implant and cause an infection. In any case, it especially applies to patients who have a high risk of developing an infection. If you have diabetes, getting frequent dental checkups is very important. The disease can lead to increased plaque and bacteria buildup around the implant. It would be best to moderate the amount of sugary intake you have every day.
4. Brush Your Teeth and Floss
Brushing your teeth prevents bacteria buildup around implants. It is also a good idea to floss around the area where the implant is placed in your mouth. Flossing can remove food scraps, plaque, and other accumulated deposits around implants. Flossing will help keep the area clean and prevent bacteria from getting in one place. Thorough cleaning and flossing can help prevent bacteria buildup and possibly save an implant from failing. Plaque buildup can lead to the flow of bacteria into the bone. Plaque buildup can increase pain and possibly lead to infection.
5. Avoid Fluorine
Using products with fluorine can weaken your teeth and gums. Fluorine is present in most toothpaste, mouth rinses, and even some bottled water. Fluorine products can make the bone begin to deteriorate around the implant. The bone near the implant can become weak and prone to fracture. When an implant breaks, it is because the bone has been weakened by fluorine. In addition to this, fluoride can prevent the bone from merging with the implant. When the bone is weak and unable to fuse with the implant, it can cause damage to your teeth, gums, and jawbone. Avoid fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinses for dental implants.