Peri-implantitis - Everything you Need To Know


Peri-implantitis is a dental disease resulting in inflammation of the soft and hard gum tissues surrounding a dental implant.

Peri-implantitis is associated with loss of bone structure around the inflamed gum supporting the tooth implant.


So, how does peri-implantitis begin?

The primary sources of peri-implantitis are:
  1. • Compromised Immune System: Patients affected by a disease that affects the whole body is at a higher risk of peri-implantitis. If you have diabetes or another systemic illness, consult with your dentist about dental implants. At Dental Partners of Boston, we understand how these diseases affect peri-implantitis, and we can adjust our treatment accordingly. Additionally, if patients have ever had a different type of mouth infection similar to peri-implantitis - they may be at a higher risk. Bring it to your dentist’s attention if you have ever contracted periodontitis extensive gum disease or other bacterial mouth infections.
  2. • Insufficient Dental Care: peri-implantitis is caused primarily by the bacteria and food particles that gradually accumulate around dental implants and gum lines. Careful and consistent dental care is needed to minimize and eliminate harmful pathogens, which are found in plaque and tartar. As with most other dental conditions, peri-implantitis can be made worse by smoking, alcohol, and drug use. Consult your Periodontist for more information on how to adopt healthy dental habits.
  3. • Parafunctional Habits: these are habits you may have. They can be due to malformation of part of your body or a nervous tick. They can even occur unconsciously during sleep. Habits like grinding your teeth in your sleep, poorly positioning your teeth when your jaw is closed, nail-biting, and others.


Symptoms of peri-implantitis

An infected dental implant (peri-implantitis) may have the following symptoms:
  • • Bleeding or pus
  • • A fever
  • • Throbbing pain
  • • Redness and swelling in the gums
  • • Bad breath
  • • Difficulty chewing your food
  • • The implant feels loose



Treatments for peri-implantitis

The management of peri-implantitis should be focused on the control of the infection, the detoxification of the implant surface, and the regeneration of the alveolar bone.
While surgery is usually required for the treatment of peri-implantitis, some patients prefer to opt for non-surgical treatment options.

Non-surgical peri-implant therapies include:

  • • Antibiotics
  • • Antiseptics
  • • Ultrasonic
  • • Laser treatments


Regenerative procedures using a bone graft substitute in combination with a membrane have also been proposed to treat bone defects in advanced cases of peri-implantitis. 

This procedure involves the following:

  • • Debridement – implant cleaned
  • • Implant surface decontamination
  • • Anti-infective therapy
  • • Surgical technique
  • • Implant removal


How to prevent peri-implantitis?

Preventative care is possible to avoid peri-implantitis, much of which can be done at home. It’s important to keep your dental implant clean. 

The best ways to keep them clean at home are to do the following:

  • • Brushing teeth twice a day or after meals
  • • Flossing at least once a day, preferably before bed
  • • Use mouthwash
  • • Not smoking, especially during the healing process


It is also a good idea to have the implant cleaned professionally periodically. This cleaning will be thorough and include scaling of the tooth or implant’s surface. 
This should happen every 6 months when you make your 6 monthly visits to the dentist or hygienist.

To avoid infection directly after having an implant inserted, the following will help:

  • • Avoid disturbing the implant.
  • • Rinse 2-3 times a day with saltwater.
  • • When brushing, be very gentle on the implant.
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