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Implant Disease

Peri-implant diseases are inflammatory conditions affecting the soft and hard gum tissues around dental implants. Similar to a tooth, bacteria and plaque can build up at the base of the implant below the gumline. If not removed, the bacteria can cause gingival inflammation and ultimately lead to damage of both the bone and surrounding soft tissue. If not detected and treated early, the bone structure below the implant deteriorates resulting in peri-implant bone loss. Peri-implant diseases are classified into two categories.

Peri-Implant Mucositis

Gingival inflammation is found only around the soft tissues of the dental implant, with no signs of bone loss. Generally peri-implant mucositis is a precursor to peri-implantitis. Evidence suggests that peri-implant mucositis may be successfully treated with non-surgical therapy and oral hygiene measures. It is considered reversible if caught early.


Gingival inflammation is found around the soft tissue and there is deterioration in the underlying bone supporting the dental implant. Peri-implantitis usually requires surgical treatment and if severe enough, potential implant explantation.

Signs of peri-implant diseases are analogous to symptoms of periodontal disease. Typical findings include red, tender and inflamed gingival tissue around the implant(s) and bleeding when flossing or brushing. Pus and exudate is a common finding around the peri-implant gingiva as well. Just like your teeth, implants require regular tooth brushing and flossing and routine check-ups from a dental professional. We recommend specifically using the wrap-around-flossing technique around dental implants. Other risks factors for developing peri-implant disease include a previous diagnosis of periodontal disease, poor oral hygiene and plaque control, smoking, and diabetes. It is essential to routinely monitor dental implants as part of a comprehensive periodontal evaluation to ensure you maintain optimal peri-implant health.

The benefit to dental implants is they function just like your natural tooth. Yet, they can become diseased just like a natural tooth. With a proper oral health routine, your dental implant can last a lifetime.

Please contact our office if you have any questions, (231) 932-4223.

As something as serious as going to a periodontist is, I have always had a great and comfortable experience with this office! What I feel is the most important aspect is that if you ask questions about your care, it is answered in a respectful and supportive way!
—Nancy P.