One of the most common complications from dental implants is infection. For the most part it is not caused by the surgery itself, but due to not following the proper aftercare instructions and neglecting oral hygiene.
If not treated quickly, dental implant infections can lead to other problems. In some cases the implant may fail directly due to the infection or the progressive bone loss that it causes.
Because of how serious the effect of infections can be, it is important that you know what signs to look out for. In particular there are several signs of infected dental implants that you need to be aware of:
- Throbbing pain that increases or spreads
Some pain is normal during the first four days after dental implant surgery, but it should be controllable with over-the-counter painkillers. If you find that the pain is increasing or spreading and is making it difficult for you to talk and chew – odds are you may have an infection.
- Bad taste in your mouth and bad breath
If you feel that there’s an inexplicable bad taste in your mouth that doesn’t seem to go away even after you brush, it could be due to an infected dental implant. The same is true if you have bad breath that doesn’t disappear even after you brush and rinse with mouthwash.
- Bleeding or pus leaking from the gums
One of the surest signs of an infection is if you find yourself bleeding persistently or notice any pus leaking from your gums. At times bleeding may only be triggered when you brush your teeth – but that is still cause for concern.
Generally the fact that you have a fever is a sign that your body is fighting off an infection. An intermittent, low-grade fever may be relatively normal after implant surgery – but if it exceeds 100 degrees or you start to have chills then you should check with your dentist.
- Loose or wobbly implants
If you feel that your implant is wobbly, loose, and feels like it’s coming out that is a sure sign that there’s something wrong and the infection has already started to affect the stability of the implant. Regardless, you should not delay and must see your dentist immediately.
- Redness and swelling around the implant
Some redness and swelling right after implant surgery is to be expected, but it should subside after the first few days. If it does not, or it resurfaces later then you may have an infection – especially if it is painful, bleeding, or accompanied by a fever.
Now that you know what to look for, you should be able to spot the early warning signs of a dental implant infection. That will let you book an appointment with a dentist in Norwich or one near your location so you can get treatment more quickly and before other complications arise.
As a rule of thumb it is always better to be safe rather than sorry when dealing with dental implant infections.