Just like natural teeth, dental implants require care and attention to remain healthy and viable. Although the implant is artificial, the gum and bone tissues that anchor and support it are living and susceptible to infection and deterioration.
When the tissues around an implant become infected with bacteria, they can become red, inflammed, sore, and can bleed. The tissues can even have a thick, yellow, pus-like substance come from the gums when the infection has worsened.
Together, these symptoms cause peri-implantitis. Similar to what happens around natural teeth in periodontal disease, in cases of peri-implantitis, bacteria infiltrate the spaces around the implant and cause infection, inflammation, and deterioration of the supporting bone tissues.
Any deviation from health at the implant site is a cause for concern and requires immediate assessment by your periodontist.
The best strategy to keep your implants healthy and sturdy for years and years is proper home care and regular visits with your dentists and periodontist.
If you have a removable crown or denture, it is important to remove it daily and to thoroughly clean the locators.
If you have a fixed crown, it is important to clean around it using the cross-over floss technique.