With the right oral care, dental implants can last a lifetime. However, if you don't keep your mouth clean, you may develop an infection in your gums and jaws which might make your implants fail. One of the most important things you can do to prevent the failure of your dental implants is protect your gums from bacteria, which can cause peri-implant disease. Here's how peri-implant disease affects dental implants and what you can do to protect your implants from it.
What Is Peri-Implant Disease?
Peri-implant disease describes two types of bacterial inflammations that may affect dental implants after placement: peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis. Both inflammations typically develop when bacteria from plaque travel below the gumline and infect the soft and hard tissues of the mouth. Peri-mucositis develops in the gums, and peri-implantitis affects the gums and bone tissues.
Peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis can both mimic the symptoms of gum disease, which includes swelling and pain in the gums. However, peri-implantitis is more severe because it may deteriorate the bone tissues that keep dental implants in place. In a number of cases, bone loss in the jaws may cause the dental implants to fail.
You may stop the issues above by practicing good oral hygiene with a water flosser.
How Do You Protect Your Dental Implants From Bacteria?
It's a good idea that you purchase a water flosser to use during your daily oral care. A water flosser enables you to remove up to 99 percent of biofilm, or plaque, from your mouth during oral hygiene. Most flossers come with multiple speeds that allow you to control how much water that comes out of them. The multiple speeds may help prevent sensitivity in your dental implants if you still have sore gums or tenderness in the implant sites.
Most water flossers provide multiple removable heads you can use to remove plaque from between your teeth and implants. Some heads come with angled or pointed tips that clean hard-to-reach areas, such as along the gumline.
To keep your flosser heads clean, sanitize them after every use. One of the things you may do is soak the heads in therapeutic mouthrinse each night. Therapeutic mouthrinse contains active ingredients that fight oral bacteria, so it may work well to clean the heads of your flosser. But it's a good idea that you speak to a dentist about how to cleanse your water flosser properly.
If you need additional answers about how to protect your dental implants from bacteria and peri-implant disease, contact a dental provider today. A group like Oral Surgery Associates Inc can give you more information.