If you have gingivitis, or the early stages of gum disease, your gums may swell and bleed. Gingivitis can thankfully be reversed easily if a patient develops better oral hygiene and goes in for professional cleanings regularly. If gingivitis advances to later stages of gum disease, your gums may actually recede, and you may lose your teeth.
To replace these missing teeth, you may want to invest in dental implants. Read on to learn more about how unhealthy gums affect implants and what you can do to improve implant success.
Can you get implants if the gum disease isn't taken care of?
Your dentist will likely advise against an implant procedure until your gum tissue is healthy. While dental implants have good success rates, the implants need to be placed in both healthy bone and gum tissue to improve osseointegration.
People with unhealthy gum tissue increase their risk of peri-implantitis, an inflammatory condition around the implant that can cause the implant to fail. The bacteria in patients with peri-implantitis is very similar to the pathogens that cause gum disease.
Although you may be disheartened to learn that gum disease can affect implant success, there are many ways to treat it before you have implants placed.
What kinds of treatments can help gum disease?
If you have gingivitis or gum disease that isn't as advanced, you could undergo a scaling and root planing procedure (SRP). SRP is very similar to your regular dental cleanings, except the dentist will also clean beneath the gumline with scalers. The dentist will use an anesthetic to numb the gums so that this procedure is more comfortable. Although you may be a little sore afterwards, the bacteria in your gum pockets will be cleaned out, meaning that your gum tissue will be much healthier.
Besides SRP, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist, a dental professional who specializes in gum tissue treatments. He or she may recommend surgery to graft healthy tissue on receding or unhealthy gums.
What if the gum disease isn't improving?
Sometimes your oral hygiene may be just fine, but you may still struggle with gum disease. It's a good idea to seek out a doctor to see if the gum disease is indicative of another condition, like diabetes. Certain habits, like smoking, can also increase the risk of gum disease.
However, smokers and diabetic patients can still receive implants if they can manage their habits/conditions. For instance, if you have diabetes, your gum tissue may get better if you get your glucose levels under control. If you smoke, you may improve your gum tissue and implant success if you temporarily stop the habit or cut back.
For more information on how gum disease can affect a dental implants, contact a dentist in your local area. Companies like Dental Design SD can help answer your questions.