Gum Disease Is Different With Dental Implants
Dental Implants Come With a Risk of Unique Forms of Gum Disease
Peri-implant diseases are inflammatory conditions affecting the soft and hard gum tissues around dental implants. Similar to a natural tooth, bacteria can build upon the base of the implant, below the gum line. Over time, the bacteria irritate the gum tissue, causing it to become inflamed, damaging the tissue and if not caught early, causing the bone structure below the implant to deteriorate.
Two Categories of Peri-Implant Disease
In peri-implant mucositis, gum inflammation is found only around the soft tissues of the dental implant, with no signs of bone loss. Generally, peri-implant mucositis is a precursor to peri-implantitis. Evidence suggests that peri-implant mucositis may be successfully treated and is reversible if caught early.
In peri-implantitis, gum inflammation is found around the soft tissue and there is deterioration in the bone supporting the dental implant. Peri-implantitis usually requires surgical treatment.
Symptoms of Peri-Implant Disease
Signs of peri-implant diseases are similar to symptoms of gum disease: red or tender gums around the implants or bleeding when brushing. And just like your natural teeth, implants require regular tooth brushing and flossing and regular check-ups from a dental professional. Other risks factors for developing peri-implant disease include previous periodontal disease diagnosis, poor plaque control, smoking, and diabetes. It is essential to routinely monitor dental implants as part of a comprehensive periodontal evaluation.
The upside to dental implants is they function just like your natural tooth. The downside is, they are capable of becoming diseased just like a natural tooth. With a proper oral health routine, your dental implant can last a lifetime.
The Risk of Peri-Implant Disease Doesn’t Outweigh the Benefits of Dental Implants
Even with the risk of developing gum disease around a dental implant, implants remain the gold standard for replacing missing teeth. With effective dental hygiene and regular professional cleanings, that risk can be minimized, and there are numerous benefits to dental implants over other tooth replacement options.
- Improved appearance and overall self-esteem: Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth because they permanently fuse with the bone. They give you back your smile and help you feel confident in yourself.
- Improved speech: With dentures, the teeth can slip and slide in the mouth, causing slurring or mumbling. With dental implants, you speak without the worry that teeth might slip.
- Improved comfort and convenience: Because they become part of you, there is no more embarrassing inconvenience of removing dentures or the need for messy adhesives to keep them in place.
- Easier eating: Sliding dentures can make chewing especially difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods without pain. Teeth are supported by stable and robust implant posts that have fused with your jawbone.
- Improved oral health: Dental implants don’t require attachment to other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth don’t support the implant, your original teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health.
- Durability: Implants are long-lasting and durable. With proper care, they will last many years. Some implants can last a lifetime.
- Stopping bone loss: A natural tooth root provides continual stimulation to the bone surrounding it through force whenever you bite down or chew with that tooth. If the tooth is absent, this stimulation is lost, and the bone recedes. By replacing your tooth root with a dental implant post, stimulation is restored to your jawbone, halting further bone loss.
- Healthy remaining natural teeth: Restoring missing teeth with dental implants protects your remaining teeth by preventing them from moving out of position and maintaining your natural bite.
LK Anderson DDS Can Help You Maintain Your Implants
We want to help our patients keep their dental implants in the best possible condition. If you aren’t experiencing any symptoms of peri-implant disease, prevention is key. If you are, schedule an appointment. You can also learn more about us on our business site, and make sure to get directions before you head our way.