Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Discover how to take good care of your dental implants.

Peri-implantitis is an infectious disease that causes inflammation of the soft and hard gum tissues and bone structure around a dental implant. Chronic inflammation can cause bone loss, which can lead to a loose implant that could eventually fall out.

The risk of developing peri-implantitis is much higher with dental implants in comparison to natural teeth. This is because the attachments of an implant are far more fragile. If the gums are loose around the implants, harmful bacteria can grow, ultimately damaging the bone.

Elderly man with peri-implantitis holding his face

What are the Causes of Peri-Implantitis?

Of all implant patients, more than 40 per cent are affected by peri-implantitis. Some of the common causes include:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Heavy smoking/use of tobacco
  • Periodontitis/a history of periodontitis
  • Diabetes
  • Bruxism (grinding of the teeth)

Since an implant can’t be attached as easily to the gums as natural teeth, the gum stays loose around the implant, allowing harmful bacteria to pool and cause inflammation. This inflammation can lead to peri-implantitis and, in extreme cases, this can lead to bone loss.

Peri-implantitis is a multifactorial disorder and bacteria plays a huge role. However, the presence of bacteria is often not always the main cause of developing the disease. Bacteria found in peri-implantary pockets can be found around stable implants too.

What are the Symptoms of Peri-Implantitis?

Recognising the symptoms at an early stage can help prevent severe infection and bone loss.

If you have dental implants and one or more symptoms, contact your dentist or oral hygienist to arrange an appointment.

Symptoms of peri-implantitis include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Redness and swelling of the soft tissue
  • Pus forming around the implant
  • Bone loss around the implant
  • Pain around a loose implant
  • Tender gums
bluem® peri-implantitis care pack

What are the Effects of Peri-Implantitis?

It is very important to treat the problem fast and efficiently. If left untreated, it can have nasty consequences. One of the effects is bone loss, which can result in losing your dental implant.

What is the Treatment for Peri-Implantitis?

Treatment for peri-implantitis should focus on controlling the infection. This can be done by maintaining a good level of oral health, particularly around dental implants.

You can reduce the risk of infection by implementing a strict oral hygiene routine before, during and after implant surgery. This level of dental implant aftercare will help prolong the life of your new teeth.

To maintain, or even improve your oral health, brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice daily with a good quality toothpaste. Complement brushing by cleaning between your teeth with floss or an interdental brush and rinsing thoroughly with mouthwash.

In extreme cases of infection, surgery may be required. However, if you would rather avoid the surgical route, treatment can be administered via antibiotics, as well as laser or ultrasonic treatment.

Combat Peri-implantitis

With its oxygen-enriched formula, bluem® can help treat and prevent peri-implantitis. Here are our recommended products…

How to Treat Peri-Implantitis with bluem®

To treat – or even prevent – peri-implantitis, bluem® founder, Dr Peter Blijdorp, recommends brushing your teeth properly twice a day with bluem® toothpaste and rinsing with bluem® alcohol- and fluoride-free mouthwash.

After brushing and rinsing, apply bluem® Oral Gel one or two times a day below the implant and leave for as long as possible. bluem® Oral Gel is developed to help prevent the disease by normalising and controlling harmful bacteria in the peri-implant pockets. It then accelerates the healing process of both wounds and bleeding gums.

For those hard-to-reach areas of your mouth, try using the Terumo syringes to apply the gel.

Remember; healthy mouth, healthy body.

Frequently Asked Questions About Peri-Implantitis

What happens if peri-implantitis is left?
If left untreated, peri-implantitis will eventually lead to the loss of the dental implant. If caught early, and with the aid of a dental proffesional, peri-implantitis can be treated before it ever causes discomfort or pain.
What does peri-implantitis feel like?

The first signs of Peri-implantitis are mild pain or sensitivity in the area around the implant when eating or chewing.

Can peri-implantitis go away on its own?

Peri-implantitis will not go away on its own. Effective and early treatment will stop the progression of the disease but the sucess of treating severe implant disease depends on many factors. Some dental implants are still lost if the disease is left too long.

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