It takes a little time before you can begin to truly appreciate your new dental implant. In the days after your surgery, any swelling will subside, as will any discomfort. You still need to treat the implant with caution during this time (by only eating soft foods, for example), but your smile has been restored. While it might look great, it can be confusing when an unpleasant taste starts to develop in your mouth. This might be accompanied by increasingly bad breath. Is this a normal part of the process?
On the Lookout
Anyone who receives dental implants must be on the lookout for postoperative complications. An unpleasant taste and bad breath can indicate a complication, but other causes should be ruled out. Could the unpleasant taste be linked to something you've recently eaten? Try cleaning your teeth. Ideally, the taste and smell will disappear and won't return. If cleaning your teeth has minimal effect, it's wise to talk to your dentist.
In the Early Stages
A bad taste in your mouth can suggest a postoperative infection. It's ill-advised to wait and hope that it clears up, as it can easily worsen to the point where it jeopardises your implant. Treating an infection is far easier when it's identified in its early stages. A mild postoperative infection that's caught quickly may only require antibiotics and antiseptic mouthwash.
When an Infection Progresses
When an infection is allowed to progress, more intensive measures will be needed to overcome it. As your gingival tissues (your gums) at the base of the implant become increasingly affected, other symptoms of infection will become more evident. These can include pain, swelling at the implant site, fatigue and fever. While antibiotics may still be used, your implant may also require debridement (the removal of plaque and tartar, along with bacteria contained in these substances). Additionally, the implant itself may need an adjustment if your dentist notices any gaps between the implant and the dental crown attached to it. The crown will need to be temporarily removed for this but will be restored during the same appointment.
A Serious Infection
A more serious infection (one that affects your jawbone at the point where it connects to the implant) will often result in the removal of the implant. Your infection can then be treated, and the implant can be reinstalled once sufficient time has elapsed.
An unpleasant taste in your mouth can be one of the first warning signs of an infection, so it's extremely important that this is reported to your dentist so the infection can be stopped in its tracks as early as possible.
Contact a company like Melrose Dental to get more advice.