A dental implant is a permanent solution for replacing missing teeth. They are artificial tooth roots made of titanium that fuse with the jawbone, creating a stable foundation for replacement tooth crowns. Although dental implants can be a long-lasting and successful treatment, gum disease can cause serious issues for patients with implants. It’s important to understand how gum disease affects natural teeth and dental implants so you can take steps to prevent it from happening.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease (also called periodontitis) is a form of periodontal disease. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, which is characterized by gum inflammation, soreness, and bleeding gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to the advanced form of the disease called periodontitis – a more serious form of gum disease which affects the gum tissue and bone that provides support for your teeth.

Gum disease can cause:

  • Tooth loss
  • Damage to soft tissues of the mouth (gums) and jaw bone
  • Infection of the implant site
  • Loosening of the implant and implant failure

Warning Signs:

Gum disease can be hard to detect in the early stages, but there are a few warning signs you should look out for. If you notice any of these symptoms near your implants, it may be time to make an appointment with your dentist:

  • Gum recession
  • Swollen or bleeding gum tissue
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth or implant crowns
  • Pus around the gums and teeth
  • Tenderness, pain, or discomfort in the gums

According to the CDC, 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease. If you think you may have gum disease, it’s important to get it treated right away by a dentist or oral surgeon.

How Gum Disease Affects Dental Implants

If you have gum disease and require a dental implant, you may need a bone grafting procedure. Bone grafting involves taking a piece of healthy bone from another area of your body and grafting it onto the affected area. This helps build up the bone tissue to support the new implant and can help prevent further damage or deterioration.

Peri-implant disease is a form of gum disease that affects dental implants. It’s caused by bacteria that has built up around the implant and can cause inflammation, swelling, bone loss, and pain. In some cases, surgery may be required to reverse the effects of gum disease and protect the dental implant.

Preventing Gum Disease

The best way to protect yourself from developing gum disease is through regular brushing and flossing, as well as regular visits to your dentist or oral surgeon for checkups and cleanings. Be sure to tell your dentist if you have any signs of gum disease, such as redness or swelling around your gums, so they can properly diagnose and treat it before it worsens. 

Additionally, quitting smoking helps reduce your risk of gum disease because smoking increases plaque build-up on the teeth, leading to infections that could negatively affect dental implants.

Take Action Now To Prevent Gum Disease

By understanding how gum disease affects dental implants and taking the necessary steps to prevent it, you can ensure your implant remains healthy and successful for years to come. Good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups and cleanings are essential for maintaining healthy gums and teeth, so don’t wait until it’s too late. If you have any signs of gum disease, please seek professional dental care right away to prevent further problems down the road.
If it’s been a while since your last dental exam or cleaning, or if you are looking for an implant dentist in Denver, call Dewitt Dental Associates and schedule a routine cleaning and examination. Have dental benefits to use up before the end of the year? Call (303) 321-5656 or complete the online booking form to schedule an appointment.