Dry mouth and dental implants
Dry mouth and dental implants
Dental implants are particularly beneficial to patients with mild dry mouth because they don't decay. An implant consists of a titanium post that is surgically embedded into the jaw. However, if the dry mouth is severe peri-implantitis can develop which is a condition that affects patients who have had dental implant procedures done. It starts as a bacteria that forms in the gums around the implant. In many ways, it is similar to gum disease in that it causes damage to the gums and teeth around it. The same bacteria that thrive in a dry mouth a rare complication can lead to a rare complication known as peri-implantitis.
What is dry mouth?
Saliva is one of your body's natural defenses against plaque because it acts to rinse your mouth of cavity-causing bacteria and other harmful materials. Dry mouth (also called Xerostomia) is a fairly common condition that is caused by diminished saliva production. People with medical conditions, such as an eating disorder or diabetes, are often plagued by dry mouth. Eating foods such as garlic, tobacco use, and some kinds of medications, including treatments such as cancer therapy can diminish the body's production of saliva, leading to dry mouth. Other causes are related to aging (including rheumatoid arthritis), and compromised immune systems.
Some of the less alarming results of dry mouth include bad breath. But dry mouth can lead to more serious problems, including burning tongue syndrome, a painful condition caused by lack of moisture on the tongue.
If dry mouth isn't readily apparent, you may experience other conditions that dry mouth can cause, including an overly-sensitive tongue, chronic thirst, or even difficulty in speaking.
If you don't have a medical condition that causes it, dry mouth can be minimized by sipping water regularly, chewing sugarless gum and avoiding smoking. Of course, there is no substitute for regular checkups and good oral hygiene.
What Is Peri-Implantitis?
After you get an implant, the crown and titanium artificail root know as the implant is invulnerable to decay, but your gums and jawbone can still be negatively impacted. When bacteria attacks the gums around the implant, they become inflamed, causing peri-implant mucositis. At this stage, only the gums are affected. Treatment is usually successful if caught at this stage. Laser gum treatment like LANAP is indicated.
If the problem continues for months, however, the bacteria may reach the bone supporting the dental implant’s titanium root. This causes the implant to lose stability and be more likely to fail overtime. At this point, the symptoms will not reverse on their own because your body will not naturally regrow gum tissue.
What cause Peri-implatitis?
There is no single cause for peri-implantitits, but there are many risk factors, which may increase your chances. In fact, peri-implantitis is so common that more than 20 percent of patients with dental implants develop this condition.
You can help avoid it by continuing good oral hygiene to avoid gum disease. If you smoke, quit now. The chemicals in tobacco restrict blood flow, and the area around the implant needs lots of fresh, healthy oxygenated blood. Certain medical conditions that affect healing and blood flow can also increase your risk. Unfortunately, some patients are simply genetically sensitive to the condition.
What Are the Symptoms of Peri-implatitis?
Only advanced peri-implantitis may presents with severe symptoms, but at first, you may hardly notice any. Look for bleeding, tender, and red gums around the implant. In some cases, you may not notice the tenderness or bleeding unless you apply pressure to the gums such as from flossing or brushing. Some patients may even see, taste, or smell pus inside the mouth from the infection.
As the condition worsens, you may notice your implant begins to move a little, which can also cause pain. If the condition causes the gums to recede, you may begin to see the titanium root or bone loss. If the symptoms are still minimal, they may reverse on their own, but most likely, you’ll need professional treatments to reverse the effects.
How to best treat Peri-implatitis?
The first step is to fight the infection and inflammation using an FDA gum laser therapy like LANAP. Your certified gum laser provider will help with this by performing deep pocket therapy and prescribing special antibiotics. If you have any condition that affects your oral health, such as diabetes, you will also need to seek treatment for those. However, if you already have peri-implantitis, more advanced treatments are needed.
While non-surgical treatments like air abrasive systems are available, they don’t seem to work well. This leaves surgery or laser gum therapy as the only choice for many patients. If bone and gum tissue has been lost, you may need grafts, and depending on the extent of the damage, the implant may need to be removed and replaced.
Dental implants are one of the best ways to replace missing teeth because they are so durable and may even last for the rest of your life.