Dental implants have become the premier option for replacing missing teeth. These incredible implants are able to fully replicate the look, feel, and functionality of your lost pearly whites and can last for up to 20+ years with proper care. But sometimes, patients experience increased and abnormal sensitivity around their implants—and if this is happening to you, what should you do? Keep reading to learn more about dental implants and what can cause them to become hypersensitive, along with some ways to alleviate your discomfort.
What Causes Dental Implant Sensitivity?
Even though dental implants aren’t technically real teeth, you can still feel them when they’re sensitive. This is because the implants have been surgically inserted into your jawbone, and the implant area is experiencing the sensation. That said, this sensitivity can result from several different things:
- Gum infection – As gum disease develops, it can affect your jawbone density and in turn, the stability of your implants which results in them feeling loose and painful.
- Crowded teeth – Sometimes implants are placed too close to your other natural teeth, causing uncomfortable crowding.
- Impaction – Food or other particles can become impacted between your dental implant and natural teeth, causing a great amount of sensitivity.
- Tissue or nerve damage – There’s a possibility for you to sustain nerve or tissue damage during the dental implantation process—sometimes this nerve damage can even be permanent.
- Allergic reaction – In rare cases, some patients experience an allergic reaction to the materials that make up the implants.
How Can I Lessen My Discomfort Until My Appointment?
If you’re experiencing dental implant sensitivity or you believe your dental implant might be failing, your best course of action is contacting your dentist and informing them of the situation. They will be able to examine your mouth and determine the cause of the sensitivity as well as an appropriate course of action. That said, there are a few things you can do to alleviate your discomfort in the hours before your appointment:
- Gently brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and floss with delicate care.
- Rinse with mouthwash or a saltwater solution for 30 – 60 seconds to help with gum inflammation.
- Avoid hard-to-chew or crunchy foods and steer away from sugary and acidic drinks.
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco and refrain from other bad oral habits.
If you’re worried about dental implant sensitivity, contact your dentist promptly and let them know what’s going on. There could be many potential reasons for it but getting to the bottom of it quickly and restoring your dental implant is the only way to ensure that your smile isn’t in any long-term danger.
About the Author
A Pennsylvania native himself, Dr. Donald Marks has proudly served patients and families in the State College area for several years. Dr. Marks received his dental doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine and is an active member of several professional organizations including the American Dental Association and the Pennsylvania Dental Association. His practice is pleased to offer a wide range of available services including dental implants. If you have any questions about dental implants or would like to schedule a visit, feel free to reach out online or by phone: (814) 234-0329.