Did you know that gum disease is one of the main causes of tooth loss? And knowing that about 46% of people over 30 years old show signs of gum disease, you may be at risk too.
If the damage has already been done and you are now looking for a restorative solution, you may want to know if you can get dental implants.
You probably can, but you will need to address gum disease first. Here’s why.
Can Gum Disease Lead to Tooth Loss?
Gum disease is a common condition (after all, nearly half of the population have it in one form or another) that affects the gums and bones that support your teeth.
Gum disease is caused by poor oral hygiene. Every time you fail to brush and floss your teeth, bacteria accumulate on your teeth, creating a sticky substance known as plaque. Over time, this plaque hardens and turns into tartar which is almost impossible to remove with a regular toothbrush. As more bacteria builds up, it starts irritating your gums, making them red and swollen. Then, as the bacteria penetrate your gums, it starts attacking the bones that support your teeth. Over time, your teeth become looser and eventually fall out.
The Relationship Between Gum Disease and Dental Implants
When it comes to dental implants, the health of your gums and jawbone is crucial, and here’s why.
The dental implant needs to be inserted into the jawbone and fused with the bone to provide the artificial tooth with a sturdy foundation. But, if you have gum disease, then the stability of the implant may be affected by the bacteria eating away at your jaw’s bone and tissues.
So, What Can You Do If You Have Gum Disease?
Gum disease doesn’t automatically disqualify you from getting implants. If your condition is mild and has not caused significant bone loss, you may still be a candidate for dental implants. First, your dentist will perform a professional cleaning to remove all traces of tartar from the teeth. You may also need scaling and root planing, which is a more in-depth cleaning that removes bacteria from under the gum line too. You will also be advised to step up your at-home oral hygiene to keep bacteria at bay and reverse your condition.
However, if your gum disease is more severe, has progressed to periodontal disease, and has caused significant bone loss, you may need to undergo additional treatments before you can get an implant. For instance, you may need a bone grafting procedure to help rebuild the bone in your jaw and make it suitable for an implant.
If the gum disease is too severe, the dentist may recommend alternative options, such as dentures or bridges.