If you have had a dental implant installed to replace a missing tooth, the appearance of your smile has probably greatly improved. Even though the dental implant is not actually a natural tooth and thus, cannot suffer tooth decay, it is still important to clean your dental implant regularly. Here are a few reasons why:
The teeth adjacent to the implant can decay.
The teeth that lie next to your dental implant can still develop cavities. Often, food and plaque can become trapped between your dental implant and adjacent teeth, just as it can become trapped between two natural teeth. Although the plaque will not cause decay to the implant crown, it can damage your natural teeth.
When you eat, oral microbes consume the carbohydrates in the leftover particles of food in your mouth. As the bacteria digest the food, they release bacterial acid as a byproduct of their metabolic process. This acid eats away at the tooth enamel to cause dental decay.
When you clean the area around your dental implant properly, it helps protect the enamel of nearby teeth.
Gum disease can develop.
The soft tissues of your gums border your dental implant just as they border your natural teeth. When an implant is installed into your jawbone, it is inserted directly through the gums. As the implant heals, it fuses with the cells of your jawbone, but the health of your gums is also important to the stability of the device. An increase in dental implant failure is associated with periodontal disease.
Keeping the gums free of plaque is important to the gum health. As gums are exposed to bacterial acids, they become inflamed. This can progress over time to a severe level of gum disease.
To clean the gums properly, flossing is important, but you may also want to employ an oral irrigator. As the flow of water is directed along the gum line and between the dental implant and adjacent teeth, it helps dislodge plaque and other debris that may irritate the tissue.
Bad breath can become a problem.
Regardless of the surface on which oral bacteria grow, the microbes can cause bad breath. In addition to brushing the bacteria from your implant, your dentist may suggest an antimicrobial mouth rinse to further clear the microbes from your mouth.
To learn more about the maintenance of your dental implants, schedule an appointment with your dentist or visit a website like http://www.charlottesvilledentistry.com/.Share