Peri-implantitis, also referred to as ‘peri-implant disease,’ is a condition in which dental implants are adversely affected by the accumulation of bacteria, leading to discomfort, infection, and subsequent bone loss. This condition typically arises when bacteria or food particles become lodged on an implant, resulting in the formation and hardening of plaque. This plaque, in turn, attracts additional plaque and reacts with the soft tissues surrounding the implant, such as the gums. Symptoms may include swelling or bleeding during brushing.
If left untreated, peri-implantitis can cause the gums to recede from the implant, allowing the infection to spread to the bone. Essentially, peri-implantitis is akin to “gum disease” but specifically impacting dental implants.
As the infection progresses to the bone, it can weaken the connection point between the dental implant and the bone, ultimately leading to complete loosening.
Patients suspecting peri-implantitis should promptly consult their dentist for a proper assessment and course of action. Treatment options may vary and could include a course of antibiotics coupled with thorough dental hygiene practices or, in more severe cases, surgical cleaning of the implant or even removal of the implant. Early intervention is crucial to prevent further complications and ensure the long-term success of dental implants.