Discomfort After Dental Implants: What Could Be the Cause?
Your dental implant is generally finalised in a number of stages. The implant is not the finished dental crown, but the metal bolt that is inserted into your jawbone. This is then left to heal with the surrounding tissues fusing to the bolt, giving it sufficient strength to anchor a prosthetic tooth which should then have the bite force of a natural tooth. It's actually a rather straightforward process, with a very low risk of any complications. Your levels of discomfort should be at an absolute minimum, and yet it's important to be aware of anything that warrants a follow-up visit to your dentist.
The actual implantation requires a very minor surgical procedure, and your dentist can efficiently control any discomfort by numbing the site. The gum tissue around the implant can become slightly inflamed after the process has been completed, but this is to be expected and will subside of its own accord, as will any bleeding. Any slight discomfort you might feel after receiving the implant can be self-managed with over-the-counter pain medication (and your dentist can advise you on the best choice and its dosage). Once the tissues around the metal bolt have healed to the point of being strong enough to host the dental crown that is to be affixed to the implant, this is generally the final stage. But what about if the site around the implant continues to be inflamed, or even bleed?
You need to rule out any direct causes for the bleeding and inflammation. Have you been brushing or flossing too vigorously? Flossing around a new dental implant can feel slightly difficult, and this is because the space has been closed, giving you less room to maneuver with the floss. It's just a question of growing accustomed to having a full set of teeth again. You were able to floss the tooth prior to its loss, so you will be able to retrain yourself to efficiently floss it again. If there is consistent bleeding each time you brush or floss, it might be a case of adjusting your dental hygiene plan, such as replacing standard floss with a water flossing device. But what about when there is inflammation and bleeding without an obvious, direct cause?
When the site hasn't been aggravated by an inadvertent roughness with a toothbrush or floss, and yet it still continues to present problems, you will need to see your dentist as soon as you can. There is a small risk that your body is essentially rejecting the implant, which could be due to peri-implantitis or peri-implant mucositis. This can be categorised as an inflammation of the mucosa around the implant, or the bone surrounding the implant, or both. Inflammation, discomfort and bleeding are the most common signs, and while the issue can often be reversed, prompt treatment is required.
So if the site continues to be inflamed with minor bleeding, be sure to make an appointment with your dentist to make sure the implant isn't in jeopardy.