If you develop gum disease after getting dental implants placed, you may wonder if there's anything a dentist can do for you. Dental implants are designed to protect, strengthen and reinforce your oral health for many years. But if you develop a gum inflammation, such as peri-mucositis and peri-implantitis, your implants can fail. Dentists now use advanced laser technology and medications to treat infections that threaten to fail dental implants. Here's what you should know about gum inflammations and dental implants and how the latest trends in implant dentistry protect your oral health.
What's the Difference Between Traditional Gum Disease, Peri-mucositis and Peri-implantitis?
Traditional gum disease describes an inflammation of the gums, ligaments and other soft tissues that support teeth. The disease occurs in two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. However, infections of the gums that involve dental implants are called peri-mucositis and peri-implantitis. Peri-mucositis and peri-implantitis can be serious problems without the right treatment.
Like traditional gum disease, peri-mucositis and peri-implantitis develop when bacteria and other microscopic organisms penetrate and infect the soft tissues of your mouth. The organisms may come from outside sources, such as an unclean toothbrush, or when you develop an infection somewhere inside your body, like sinus or ear infections.
A dentist can successfully treat peri-mucositis with regular dental cleanings of your gums and dental implants. But when the bacterial infection spreads to the jawbone below the dental implants, it becomes peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis can slowly deteriorate or destroy the bone tissues that support your jaws, which leads to the failure and loss of your dental implants.
In order to prevent the complications above, a dentist may use laser technology to treat your diseased bone tissues.
How Can Laser Technology Protect Your Dental Implants and Gums?
Lasers are designed to save your bone tissue instead of removing it. Traditional oral surgery may require a dentist to cut sections of diseased bone tissue from the jaws in order to keep the infection from spreading to other areas of the mouth. If your implants no longer have the right support in the jaws, they may not hold up well in your tooth sockets. Lasers may be better options for you because they kill microorganisms on contact and help bone tissue heal.
Lasers help preserve the bone tissue you have left in your jaws by only treating diseased bone tissue. The lasers heat up the damaged tissue until the organisms inside them die, which gives new bone cells a chance to develop without the fear of infection. The new cells build up the bone around your dental implants and stabilize them.
After treatment, a dentist may monitor your dental implants and gums to ensure that they remain safe. You may experience deep cleanings of your gums and dental implants on a regular basis. If the infection does come back in the future, a dentist can take steps to fight it. There are always new treatments in development for peri-mucositis and peri-implantitis to help you keep your dental implants from failing.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Gums?
If you haven't done so already, you may want to purchase a water flosser to maintain good oral health. A water flosser washes away 99 percent of the plaque-laden bacteria in your mouth that can cause and aggravate gum disease.
You may also add fresh fruit, leafy green vegetables and lean protein to your daily diet to help strengthen your gums and bones. Foods that contain vitamin C and vitamin E may help fight bacteria in the body. Remember, peri-mucositis and peri-implantitis are still forms of gum disease, so it's important to obtain nutrients that fight them.
If you need more information about your gum inflammation or dental implants, contact an implant dentist today.