Subtle Signs Of Post-Dental Procedure Infection

Dental implants can dramatically improve the appearance of your smile and may also help resolve bite problems. While most people sail right through the dental implant procedure, others, especially those with preexisting health conditions such as diabetes or suppressed immune function, may be at risk for developing an infection after the procedure.

Signs of a post-procedure infection may not be obvious, and in fact, may be so subtle that you may not even notice them. Here are some subtle signs of a post-procedure dental infection to be aware of so that you can see your dentist as soon as possible. 

Bad Taste In Mouth

If you notice a bad taste in your mouth when you bite down or when you wake up in the morning, one of your implant sites may be infected. The bad taste may be related to the collection of pus at the extraction site, and if not recognized and treated quickly, a systemic infection may develop.

Also known as a purulent infection, an infected area that contains pus needs to be treated with oral antibiotics quickly. Not only can the infection spread, but it may also cause the destruction of the soft tissue surrounding your dental implant.

If the infection fails to resolve despite aggressive antibiotic treatment, the implant may need to be removed so that the affected area can be further evaluated and treated.

Facial Burning

Another subtle sign of a post-implant procedure may be facial burning or other abnormal sensations of the face, including numbness, tingling, prickling, or itching. When one of your implant sites is infected, especially one of your upper sites, the infection can affect one of your cranial nerves.

The cranial nerve most associated with abnormal sensations in the face is the facial nerve. If it becomes inflamed or damaged as a result of an oral infection, antibiotics may help.

Antibiotics, however, may not completely resolve your symptoms, and if your abnormal facial sensations fail to resolve, your physician may refer you to a neurologist, a physician specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of nerve and neurological disorders. Your dentist will also keep a close eye on your implant sites to evaluate the healing process and to watch for further signs and symptoms of infection.

If you develop a bad taste in your mouth or experience abnormal sensations of the forehead, cheek, bridge of your nose, lips, or chin, you may have an infection of one of your implant sites. See the dentist who inserted your implants right away so that appropriate treatment can be quickly implemented, which will help prevent complications such as a systemic infection or tissue damage.