Even with dental implants, regular dental hygiene matters. Plaque build-up on or around implants can cause peri-implant mucositis, characterized by inflammation and tenderness of the gums surrounding an implant. A recent study found that the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri Prodentis has the potential to help prevent peri-implantitis from developing.
The Danger of Peri-Implantitis
In the same way that gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease (gum disease), untreated cases of peri-implant mucositis can lead to the development of peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis, also called peri-implant disease, causes a destructive inflammatory process in the soft tissue around an implant. As it progresses, this disease causes bone loss in your jaw that will inevitably result in the loss of your implant. The early detection of peri-implant mucositis can help prevent peri-implantitis from developing.
The Preventative Power of Probiotics
Over the last few decades, studies on the benefits of various probiotics have shown that certain probiotics create biofilms in the mouth that could help protect oral health. A recent double-blind placebo-controlled study published in February 2015 found that the oral probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri Prodentis has some effect on the prevention and reversal of peri-implant mucositis. The 34 participants were divided into two groups: Group A (22 participants with 54 implants), with no peri-implant disease, and Group B (12 participants with 23 implants), with peri-implant mucositis affecting one or more implant. Participants took the probiotic every 24 hours for 30 days, followed 6 months later by a 30-day period of taking a placebo.
Participants from group B experienced an improvement in peri-implant mucositis symptoms while taking the probiotic. They also experienced reductions in cytokine, your body’s immune response that signals the presence of inflammation. Lower cytokine levels suggest that inflammation decreased with use of the probiotic. Group A showed an overall improvement in gum tissue health while taking the probiotic, suggesting that Lactobacillus reuteri Prodentis could help to prevent peri-implant mucositis rather than simply reducing its symptoms after development. The placebo showed no changes in either group over the 30-day follow-up period.
If future studies find similar results, Lactobacillus reuteri Prodentis could revolutionize dental implant care. This probiotic could also increase the chances of implant success in people who develop peri-implant mucositis.
Caring for Your Implants
You should practice regular oral hygiene even long after you receive an implant in order to protect your oral heath. Plaque buildup on and around implants can cause inflammation that leads to infections. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day removes plaque-causing bacteria. Two dental cleanings a year will remove harder plaque that forms under your gums to protect your gum health. If you experience redness, tenderness, or bleeding of the gum tissue around an implant, schedule an appointment to meet with your dentist right away. When caught early, dental procedures can reverse inflammation and save your implant.
For more information about caring for your implant, please call 918-528-3330 to meet with a Tulsa dentist at Winters Dental Excellence.