If you have certain health conditions or take certain medications, you may be at a heightened risk for developing an infection after surgery or a dental implant procedure. In addition to health conditions and medications, certain lifestyle habits can also raise your risk for developing a post-procedure infection. Here are some ways to reduce your risk or prevent infection after dental procedures so that you can better enjoy the aesthetic effects of your new dental implants.
Maintain Normal Blood Sugar Levels
If you have been diagnosed with either diabetes or pre-diabetes, then you may be risk for developing an infection after your implant procedure. High serum glucose levels can lead to high concentrations of blood sugar inside your mouth.
When this happens, bacteria and fungi can proliferate, because these microorganisms often feed on sugar. This phenomenon can raise your risk for infections such as candida, and if left untreated, can affect the tissue around your implants.
If you develop white patches on your tongue or spots inside your mouth that easily bleed, make an appointment with your dentist. If you have a candida infection, you will need to take anti-fungal medication to eliminate it. To keep your blood sugar levels under control, maintain a healthy weight, follow your diabetic diet, take all of your prescribed medications, try to manage your stress levels, and get plenty of exercise.
If you smoke cigarettes, try cutting down or quitting altogether about a week before your implant surgery. Smoking raises the risk for capillary damage, and when this happens, optimal blood flow and circulation to your implant sites inside your mouth may be impaired.
If you are unable to quit smoking on your own, talk to your doctor. He or she can recommend a number of smoking cessation treatment options that may include nicotine replacement gum or patches and prescription medications that will help reduce your urge to smoke. If these interventions are not effective, your physician may refer you to a mental health professional for further evaluation and treatment such as cognitive behavior therapy. Is is not only important that you quit smoking prior to your implant surgery, but also afterwords, until your oral cavity has completely healed.
If you have elevated blood sugar levels, or if you smoke, work with both your oral surgeon and family physician to develop an optimal treatment plan that will help ensure that you will have an uneventful recovery period after your implant procedure.