Nowadays, many patients with missing teeth choose dental implants as replacements. This revolutionary option can help restore your mouth’s health and functionality, as well as the beauty of your smile. Not to mention, implants are a long-term solution that are as close as you can get to natural teeth.
One common query from patients with a history of gum disease (otherwise known as periodontal disease) is, “Can you have dental implants with gum disease?”
Symptoms of Gum Disease
You may be surprised to learn that periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults, affecting half of Americans over age thirty at some point in their lives. Recognizing the signs of early gum disease can help prevent damage and tooth loss down the road.
Here are some symptoms that frequently point to periodontitis:
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gum line
- Inflamed gums that are bright red or purple
- Gaps between teeth and gums
- A bad taste in your mouth that doesn’t go away
- Chronic bad breath (otherwise known as halitosis)
- Loose teeth
Does Gum Disease Prevent Dental Implants?
Healthy gums and bone are necessary for any dental implants. But can you have dental implants with gum disease?
The answer is yes, as long as the issue has been corrected. Most people are viable candidates for dental implants, even if they’ve suffered from gum disease in the past. However, you cannot have an active infection when you undergo surgery. An active infection puts you at higher risk for further infections and implant loss, and in this case, treatment should be delayed.
Because previous periodontal disease may have caused weakened gum or jawbone tissue, it’s important to discuss your history with your dentist. Some patients are left with insufficient bone structure for the implant to integrate with the bone after gum disease. In these cases, bone or soft tissue grafts may be required before implant surgery.
But the good news for those wondering, “Can you have dental implants with gum disease?” is that even if you have significant bone loss, most people can undergo the procedure.
Treatment of Gum Disease
There are several lifestyle changes that help keep gum disease at bay. Following these dental hygiene best practices should keep your mouth healthy:
- Visit the dentist regularly
- Stop smoking
- Floss daily
- Brush for two minutes, two times per day
- Maintain good oral hygiene practices, such as limiting your alcohol intake
However, if you notice any signs of gum disease mentioned above, a periodontist can help treat it. Treatments like root planing/scaling and polishing teeth may be necessary if you have an active infection. If you are interested in dental implants, these treatments will also help ensure that your surgery is successful.
Once the periodontitis is under control, you can proceed with dental implants. It’s critical to inform your dentist about your history with gum disease. Communicating about this past condition will help them ensure that you receive the results you desire.