Dental implants are widely recognized as the best way to restore missing teeth since they are so durable, strong, natural-looking, and easy to maintain. Whether you have lost one or more teeth due to tooth decay, aging, or an injury, dental implants will restore the look of your smile as well as the full function of your teeth. You must have healthy gums in order to have dental implants placed, and implants help prevent jawbone deterioration and further tooth loss. However, that does not mean that your risk of developing gum disease goes away just because you have dental implants.
WHAT IS PERI-IMPLANTITIS?
You can still get gum disease if you have dental implants. Gum disease is largely preventable, and if you neglect your oral health and do not care for your implants properly, you can develop a specific form of gum disease known as peri-implantitis. This condition occurs when bacteria and tartar accumulate on the gum and bone surrounding your dental implant. Peri-implantitis can cause symptoms including bleeding gums, bad breath, and the feeling of your implant loosening. If left untreated, peri-implantitis can even cause implant failure, which means your dental implant could fall out of your mouth.
HOW TO PREVENT GUM DISEASE WITH DENTAL IMPLANTS
Again, gum disease can be prevented by being diligent about your oral hygiene. Whether you have dental implants or not, the best ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy are to always brush twice a day for two minutes each time, floss once a day, keep up with your regular dental checkups, and avoid smoking and all other tobacco products. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and avoid toothpaste containing harsh abrasive agents that can damage your implants. Also, there are certain foods you should avoid if you have dental implants, including caramel and other chewy candies, tough meats like steak, crunchy snacks, and hard, crusty bread.