Gum diseases are one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Anyone who fails at maintaining proper oral hygiene will suffer from varying degrees of gum disease at some point in their life. While gum disease can become a debilitating condition if left unchecked, it is reversible in its early stages and should never be ignored.
Gum disease in its early stages manifests as gingivitis, which is characterized by swollen gums that may bleed upon chewing or while brushing teeth. If ignored at this point, gingivitis can eventually lead to periodontal disease, which is a much severe form of gum disease. Periodontal disease requires professional intervention and can lead to irreversible bone loss if not treated.
Will Tooth Extraction Cure Periodontal Disease?
Advanced periodontal disease leads to substantial bone loss, which in turn, can lead to loosening of teeth. While spontaneous shedding of loose teeth may occur to patients with severe gum disease, your dentist might also advise the extraction of teeth that have lost all bone support and cannot be saved.
Tooth extraction in the case of periodontal disease is usually done as a last resort. It is to be noted, however, that the extraction of teeth alone does not cure gum disease. Gum disease treatment encompasses several appointments with the dentist, who will also recommend medication that forms a part of the treatment process.
Tooth loss that has occurred due to periodontal disease should ideally only be replaced once the gum disease treatment is complete. There are a number of options available to patients for replacing missing teeth like dentures, bridges and dental implants.
Can I Have Dental Implants in Gum Disease?
Dental implants are currently the leading choice among replacement options for missing teeth. While dental implants are generally not given in patients with active gum disease, they can certainly be a viable tooth replacement option once your dentist has successfully treated the gum disease.
The dental implant procedure requires good gingival health and bone support for its success. Since receding gums and bone loss is a common phenomenon in patients with gum disease, not everyone can be a good candidate for receiving dental implants.
People who have suffered from substantial bone loss do have the option of getting bone graft surgery, which augments their bone support and makes them viable candidates for receiving dental implants.
Periodontal Disease and Implant Failure
Periodontal disease begins when the plaque from around the teeth is not routinely cleaned, which causes the bacteria in the plaque to accumulate and cause infection of the oral tissues. This infection spreads to the supporting structures around the tooth, eventually reaching the bone that supports the tooth and causing bone loss.
The success and longevity of a dental implant are directly associated with the health of your gum tissues and the underlying bone structure. While the implant itself remains unaffected in the presence of gum disease, the infection affects the tissues and bone that support the implant and lead to its failure. Moreover, gum diseases around implants advance more rapidly than around natural teeth. This is due to the absence of the natural defense mechanism that is provided by natural teeth; dental implants have no association with the body’s immune system; which makes the tissues around implants more susceptible to infections.
Implant failure due to periodontal disease occurs as a consequence of peri-implantitis. As bone loss continues due to the inflammatory process caused by gum disease, the dental implant loses bone support and at this point, needs to be removed.
While a history of gum disease does not eliminate you from being a good candidate for dental implants, an evaluation with your dentist is highly recommended. Visit us at Glen Lake Family Dentistry to know your options and find out whether dental implants are the right choice for you.