When a natural tooth experiences heightened sensitivity, it is usually because outside stimuli are irritating its inner layers, causing the tooth’s nerve to send pain signals to the brain. A dental implant does not have any nerves, so you may feel confused if it begins to ache or feel sensitive. What can cause this problem? Read on below to find out. You will also discover why you should let your dentist know about sensitivity in a dental implant ASAP.
Where Is the Sensitivity Coming From?
The exact origin of dental sensitivity is not always easy to pinpoint. While it might seem like your implant is sensitive, it is much more likely that the tissues around it are the actual source of your discomfort. For example, the problem might be coming from your gums, a nearby natural tooth, or your jawbone.
Possible Causes of Sensitivity Near a Dental Implant
Here are a few reasons why the tissues around a dental implant might experience heightened sensitivity:
- Infection. If harmful bacteria manage to sneak into the gums or bone near an implant, they can cause inflammation and pain.
- Cavities or other forms of dental damage. A natural tooth adjacent to an implant might have a spot of decay, a crack, or thinning enamel that is allowing outside stimuli to irritate its inner layers.
- Impaction. Food particles can sometimes get stuck between an implant and a neighboring tooth. If there is a significant amount of debris there, it can place pressure on both your tooth and your implant, leading to sensitivity and discomfort.
- Nerve or tissue damage. In rare instances, an implant is inserted into the jawbone at the incorrect location, angle, or depth. This can damage nerves and tissues, causing pain and sensitivity. Although this issue is only a remote possibility, it does highlight the importance of choosing an experienced surgical team for your dental implant placement procedure.
What You Should Do
Any new or worsening dental sensitivity is a reason to call your dentist, particularly if the problem is located near a dental implant. The urgency stems from the fact that in some cases, sensitivity can be an indication that an implant is failing. The sooner you receive care, the more likely it is that the issue can be addressed without extensive or invasive treatments.
When you arrive for your appointment, your dental team will perform a thorough examination, ask you about your symptoms, and recommend how you should move forward. You might need something as simple as a small filling or some prescription mouthwash. However, there is also the possibility that you will require surgery.
Does one of your dental implants feel sensitive? Seek care as soon as you can. Your dental team will strive to get your oral health back on track as efficiently and comfortably as possible.
Meet the Practice
Piney Point Dental Implant Center is home to three board-certified oral surgeons. Together, they have several decades of combined experience. They offer a range of services, including dental implant placement and dental implant salvage. To learn more about them and how they may be able to help you cope with sensitivity around an implant, contact our office at 713-597-7340.