Dental implants are one of the longest-lasting tooth replacements you can choose. In many cases, they last for decades and sometimes for the rest of an individual’s life. But just like natural teeth, dental implants are susceptible to infection from bacterial plaque and calculus buildup. Our dentist, Dr. Nickelice Brand, provides 4 tips that can help make your dental implants last for your lifetime.
- Brush and floss every day. Your dental implant teeth won’t become decayed as natural teeth can. But infection can still develop on the gumline around an implant if plaque from eating and drinking is left to harden into calculus. Gum infection (peri-implantitis) is one of the most common causes of failing dental implants, and preventing this progressive condition starts with a proper hygiene routine.
- Eat a balanced diet. Sugary foods and beverages or foods that are carb-dense are more prone to sticking to your dental implant teeth and more difficult to clear with daily brushing. Limiting your sugar and carb intake can help prevent infection around your dental implants. Instead, choose a diet rich in vitamins and nutrients that can promote your physical as well as oral health.
- Limit smoking and tobacco use. The nicotine in cigarettes and tobacco directly impacts your body’s ability to fight infection. Similarly, if you do have peri-implantitis, you’ll have a more difficult time healing, especially if you need surgery to treat your gum infection. Try to minimize smoking as much as possible or quit altogether to avoid damaging your dental implants.
- Avoid putting pressure on your teeth. Dental implants are the closest thing to natural teeth, but they’re still an artificial appliance in your mouth. It is possible to put too much pressure and force on your implants by routinely chewing hard foods like nuts and raw carrots. This can lead to gum recession and bone damage that can make the area more susceptible to gum infection.
Are You Showing Signs of a Gum Infection?
If you have gum recession around your dental implants, or your gums are tender and bleed easily, don’t wait to schedule an appointment with our office! Dr. Brand can assist in treating your symptoms or refer you to a periodontist for more specialized treatment. Being proactive about a potential gum infection can keep your mouth healthy and ultimately save you from a failing dental implant!