Peri-implant mucositis is an inflammation that is limited to the soft tissues surrounding a dental implant as a result of accumulation of bacteria. Like “gingivitis,” this condition results in bleeding gum tissues, but is easily treated. If ignored, peri-implant mucositis rapidly progresses to peri-implantitis which starts progressive bone loss and can lead to implant failure if this is not promptly treated.
Peri-implant mucositis treatment typically starts with a dental examination that includes an xray to see if there has been bone loss. If the inflammation has not progressed to bone loss, treatment may consist of dental cleaning, attentive oral hygiene measures at home, and daily use antiseptics such as Chlorhexadine. A follow up dental evaluation is done within two weeks to verify the return of healthy tissues around the dental implant(s). If bone loss is identified on the xray or if dental probing generates bleeding or drainage of infection, additional treatment is needed, as these findings indicate the presence of peri-implantitis.
All dental implant patients should receive periodontal examination and, if indicated, treatment before implant placement. After placement, they should maintain good oral hygiene, including professional teeth cleaning by their dental hygienist. They should be examined regularly by their dentist for signs of infection, as well as attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with their dental implant specialist.