December 13, 2023
Medically Reviewed By Matthew T. Streelman, DDS, MD

Mioral surgery blog preventing peri implantitis | mercer island oral & maxillofacial surgeryDental implants are widely considered the gold standard for tooth replacement, and one of the most common reasons is their longevity. Dental implants typically last quite a bit longer than any other form of tooth replacement. In fact, with the right hygiene and care, dental implants may last a long time.

But, while implant failure is rare, one of the most common reasons why it happens is peri-implantitis. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to prevent this condition and preserve the long-term success of your dental implants.

What is Peri-Implantitis?

Peri-implantitis is a gum tissue infection at the dental implant placement site. It is a form of periodontal disease unique to people who have dental implants. It works in much the same way that other types of gum disease work, only instead of being concentrated near a natural tooth, it is localized to a particular implant. If the periodontal disease progresses to the point that your jaw bone deteriorates, the dental implant will lose the bone tissue it needs for support. Over time, your otherwise durable implant may fail.

How to Prevent Peri-Implantitis

As soon as you receive your new dental implants, you can begin taking steps to protect them. To do so:

  • Comply with aftercare instructions, especially dietary guidelines. Throughout your recovery process, until you receive your final restoration, you should avoid foods high in sugar, acidity, spiciness, or temperature. Additionally, avoid nuts, seeds, and other hard, crunchy foods that can get lodged into the gums at the dental implant placement site.
  • Exercise proper oral hygiene throughout your recovery process. It is critical to keep your smile as clean as possible. Brush and floss your other teeth as you normally would, and follow your oral surgeon’s directions on how to keep your dental implant clean as you heal.
  • Continue to develop healthy habits of brushing and flossing. Once you have recovered from implant placement, brush and floss your teeth, including your dental implants, twice a day. Avoid eating as many sugary foods as possible to maximize your chances of keeping your gums healthy.
  • Consult with your periodontist. In select cases, dental implants are provided to patients with existing gum disease but keep it under control. If that is you, be sure to take any additional steps your periodontist recommends to keep your gum disease in check.

Learn More About Maintaining Healthy Dental Implants

Dental implants provide the longest-lasting option for smile restoration if you are missing teeth. With the right aftercare and hygiene, you can potentially prevent infection and implant failure for the rest of your life. Learn more about dental implant care by connecting with Mercer Island Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.