What is Peri-implantitis?

Oral hygiene is crucial ion maintaining healthy dental implants.There has been a lot of buzz and panic about the number of cases of a bacterial disease called peri-implantitis. There has been an incline of this disease in dental implant patients because of the neglect of oral hygiene. Peri-implantitis is an inflammatory disease that will cause a patient with dental implants to experience red and swollen gums, bleeding when probed, and the eventual decline and depletion of the jawbone. Infectious bacteria is a harmful bacteria that will not only negatively affect the state of your oral anatomy, but it can travel through your blood stream and cause additional health complications throughout your body.

Effects of Infectious Bacteria on Your Health

Many people don’t realize that our oral heath attributes greatly to the overall health of our bodies. Such illnesses as diabetes or Alzheimers disease have been attributed to poor oral health, and in many cases it has exacerbated these illnesses. Below are a few affects that infectious bacteria can have on the body.

  • Heat disease- Heart disease is a very serious condition that can be life threatening. People with poor oral health are more likely to develop heart disease and arterial narrowing by bacteria entering the blood stream through the gums. Studies show that the presence of gum disease and cavities can be just as much an indicator of heart disease as cholesterol levels can.
  • Diabetes- Diabetic patients suffer many health issues, among them is poor oral health. It is estimated that about 95% of US adults with diabetes, have periodontal disease and that 1/3 has advanced gum disease. In terms of dental implants, it was previously believed that diabetic patients were not able to osseointegrate dental implants successfully due to their weak immune and inability to fully heal wounds.
  • Erectile Dysfunction – Men with periodontal disease or gum disease are more likely to have issues with sexual performance than men who have good oral hygiene. When bacteria travels through the blood stream, it can inflame blood vessels and block blood flow to the genitals.
  • Respiratory Problems- If infectious bacteria travels through the blood stream and into the lungs, it will make breathing difficult or may exacerbate an already present respiratory issue.
  • Atherosclerosis- If there is a large amount of disease-causing bacteria in the mouth, it can clog the carotid artery and pose an increased risk of stroke.
  • Bad Breath- Bad breath is a very common sign of poor oral hygiene. The lack of brushing sand flossing will leave particles of food stuck in-between your teeth and it starts to develop bacteria. These bacteria will reproduce and emit toxins such as hydrogen sulfide, the same chemical that rotten eggs emit.


There is not a lot known about peri-implantitis, but what is known is that it carries many of the same traits as periodontal disease. Dental implants worst enemy is the buildup of plaque around the gums of the implant because if it is allowed to seep into the gums, it will inflame the gums and if neglected, deplete your jawbone. Dental implants will no longer serve its purpose and it will loosen.  The infection will not only cause you to lose your dental implants, but as stated above, it will travel through your entire body. The best method in preventing peri-implantitis is to maintain oral hygiene and to go in for regular in-office checkups. It is important to recognize the early signs of a bacterial infection forming around your dental implants. The early stage of peri-implantitis is referred to as peri-implant mucositis. The signs of this stage are red and swollen gums and bleeding when gums are probed.

Contact Dr. William T. Griffin at City Center Dental Care in Newport News, VA

Bacterial infections are very detrimental to the success of dental implants. If oral hygiene is not maintained, peri-implantitis can occur and not only infect the oral anatomy, but will also spread throughout the entire body, causing additional problems with your overall health. If you have any further questions about dental implant or peri-implantitis, then please contact us to schedule your FREE, no-obligation consultation today!. We hope that this blog has shed some light on the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene, not just for the survival of your dental implants, but also for the survival of your physical health.