How gum disease affects the overall success of your dental implant treatment and if we can place dental implants at all.
As severe gum disease (periodontitis) causes the jawbone to shrink, bone to deplete, and gums to recede. All these factors ultimately compromise the stability of a dental implant, thus reducing the chance they will be successful.
However, the first step to check your suitability for this type of missing teeth treatment will always begin with a consultation with an implant dentist.
The perfect missing tooth solution
A dental implant is a replacement tooth root that serves as a strong foundation for fixed permanent crowns, uniquely created to match your natural teeth.
And for many of our patients, they have been the life-changing answer to the problems of missing and failing teeth.
Here at The Gentle Dental Implant Clinic, we are highly experienced in tooth replacement treatments and can restore gaps in your mouth quickly and fuss-free.
Do you qualify for implant treatment?
Whether you have lost a tooth due to an accident or trauma, it is still vital that during a consultation, we check and assess your mouth for the following problems:
- Gum disease healthy amount of gum
- Low jaw bone density or decay
This is an important step, as any of the above can affect the stability of your implant.
Implants are designed to last a lifetime, but the above oral health issues can cause unhealthy conditions, which might cause the implant to fail.
By adopting and maintaining strong oral hygiene techniques, teeth implants allow patients to have a healthy, reconstructed mouth regardless of how they lost teeth in the first place.
What if I have gum disease?
Signs and symptoms include:
- Red, swollen, tender gums, Bleeding gums
- Bad breath and taste in the mouth
- Pain when chewing / tooth sensitivity
- Loose, wobbly or missing teeth
Reversing the problem
Any pre-existing conditions like gum disease will need to be addressed before implantation.
Periodontitis can cause many complications with your oral health and all the conditions an implant needs in a mouth to thrive.
Jawbones can shrink, important bones in the jaw can be lost, and gums can recede away from the teeth. All these consequences of gum disease affect the stability of the dental implant.
For patients who might have already suffered from advanced gum disease, you may have already lost a significant amount of bone in your jaw due to a process called resorption.
Why you need to understand plaque
Gums attach to the teeth at a lower point. This forms a space called the sulcus, where food often gets trapped.
When the food is not cleaned away, it becomes trapped in this space and then causes a gum infection (gingivitis).
Plaque is a very thin film of bacteria which constantly forms on the surface of the teeth.
As this plaque advances, it gets harder and turns into tartar. This cannot be removed through cleaning alone.
Left unchecked and ignored, gingivitis can quickly cause the gums to separate from the teeth, which leaves the tooth vulnerable as it becomes unstable, loose and wobbly.
This is often a sure sign of receding gums. If the infection progresses, you will ultimately lose your teeth.
During a consultation, our dentists will examine your mouth and take x-rays of your jawbone, which will identify whether or not you will require a bone graft.
Sounding much scarier than it is, a dental bone graft increases the amount of bone in your jaw in order to create a sturdy foundation for the implant to sit. Bone regenerations and grafts are also associated with sinus lift surgeries.
This will not make placing a dental implant impossible, but it does mean we have to add some additional procedures to make the mouth the best habitable space possible.
Can you get gum disease after having implants?
We cannot stress enough that because dental implants are just like regular, natural teeth, they will require the same care and maintenance.
Your oral hygiene routine should be no less relaxed just because they are artificial tooth roots. Plaque can also form on implant crowns and if left to build up, can irritate gums.
This condition is called peri-implant mucositis, which has symptoms similar to gingivitis.
Again, if this is not taken care of, the condition can worsen and progress to per-implantitis. This stage can contribute to bone loss, making the implant loose.
Replacing teeth with gum disease
Regardless of the above, your opinion of implants should not change. Dental implants are certainly the best of all the ways modern restorative dentistry can replace missing teeth.
Believe us when we say it – no tooth-replacement options will provide you with a longer-lasting, natural result.
One of their many advantages is that a dental implant promotes bone strength and can help support and preserve the jawbone, which naturally breaks down when tooth loss occurs.
We can work together to prevent gum disease from advancing and make the mouth a healthy space for implants to be inserted.