Dental implants are commonly used to replace missing teeth and provide a stable, long-lasting solution. However, some patients experience occasional or persistent pain when chewing after getting dental implants. This can be alarming, but understanding the potential causes can help patients seek proper treatment and find relief.
Common Causes of Dental Implant Pain
Several issues can lead to dental implant pain when chewing:
Infection and Inflammation
An infection around the implant site, known as peri-implantitis, is a common cause of pain. This infection develops when bacteria infiltrate the gum tissues surrounding the implant. Signs include pain, swelling, bleeding from the gums, and possibly fever. Treating the infection with antibiotics and professional cleaning is often effective.
If the implant fails to properly fuse with the jawbone in a process called osseointegration, it can become loose over time. Chewing puts pressure on an unintegrated implant, leading to pain and discomfort. Removing and reinserting the implant may be required.
Problems like implant damage or components putting pressure on teeth can also cause pain. Addressing misaligned or damaged implants requires an exam and possible revision.
Nerve damage during surgery, while rare, may cause persistent numbness, tingling, or severe pain when chewing. This requires prompt diagnosis and specialist treatment.
Though highly uncommon, some patients experience allergic reactions to implant materials, typically titanium. This leads to unexplained pain that subsides once the implant is removed.
Managing Dental Implant Pain
If patients experience implant pain while chewing, the following self-care tips may help provide relief:
- Take over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen to alleviate discomfort.
- Apply an ice pack to the outside of the cheek to reduce inflammation.
- Stick to soft foods and avoid chewing on the implant site during meals.
- Maintain diligent oral hygiene to prevent infection and accompanying pain.
- Schedule a prompt exam with your dentist to diagnose the underlying cause.
Most importantly, worsening pain should warrant a dental examination to check for potential complications. While some discomfort is expected, persistent and severe pain associated with implants is not normal. Identifying and addressing the source of pain is essential for patients to enjoy the benefits of dental implants over the long term.
Dental implants are an excellent tooth replacement solution with high success rates. However, patients may experience occasional pain while chewing after getting implants. Several potential causes exist – ranging from infections and nerve damage to mechanical issues. To manage discomfort, patients can utilize self-care tips and seek a prompt dental evaluation for severe or worsening pain. With proper diagnosis and treatment, most causes of dental implant pain can be effectively addressed.