Dental implants have “pockets” around them just like our teeth do. Healthy pockets around teeth are 2-3 millimeters while implants have pockets that can be healthy up to 6mm.
Warning signs of deep pockets and gum disease include the following:
- Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth
- Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pus between your gums, implants or teeth
- Sores in your mouth
- Persistent bad breath
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the fit of partial dentures
One of the biggest misconceptions concerning periodontal disease is that the dentist / hygienist will control the disease. The responsibility of controlling the disease process rests heavily with you!
This is not to say that professional care (i.e. diagnosis, education, therapy) is not necessary – it’s just that MANY people that have had the best of care, do not perform the diligent home care regimen they should.
When the pockets are very deep, procedures must be performed so that all infection, plaque and tartar may be removed. Sometimes the bone around is no longer smooth and it must be corrected. There are times that bone may be actually added to areas where it has eroded away.