Gum Disease: Am I still a candidate for tooth implants?

Categories: tooth implant

photodune-9090006-gum-disease-word-cloud-xs-300x217 Gum Disease: Am I still a candidate for tooth implants?Have you struggled with gum disease in the past? Perhaps you have a family history of periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal disease is a common oral health condition that can be very problematic when left untreated.

Sometimes, patients with gum disease may not be suitable candidates for a tooth implant. This is because dental implants require sufficient bone mass and gum tissue to stabilize prosthetic teeth. If you have had gum disease, there are some treatment options to help increase the likelihood that a tooth implant will be stable. For those who have had periodontal disease, our oral surgeon may suggest receiving a bone or gum graft to help one’s chances of enjoying stable dental implants.

How does gum disease affects the stability of dental implants?

Periodontal disease is categorized by the severity of infection and inflammation present in gingival tissue. When the gums are infected and irritated, they will pull away from teeth. As tartar accumulates along the roots of teeth, below where a healthy gum line should be, teeth will eventually lack the support they require to stay upright and stable.

Periodontal disease also reduces bone density, which is another important support structure for teeth since a tooth’s roots are anchored in the jawbone.  As this happens, teeth become loose and will eventually fall out. With diminished bone mass and gum tissue, gum disease can impede the stability of an implant since the implant’s base is embedded into the jaw to replace the root of a tooth. If a patient develops periodontal disease after receiving implants, his or her implants can fail. For these reasons, periodontal disease must be maintained and prevented.

How grafting procedures can help?

Once a patient has received periodontal therapy to clean and remove infected gum tissue, our oral surgeon may recommend grafting procedures. A grafting procedure involves taking similar tissue from one area of the body and transplanting it to another. For example, a small piece of soft oral tissue can be grafted over an area where gum tissue is sparse. Grafting can also be used to replace deteriorated bone in the jaw.

To learn more about your tooth replacement options and whether you are a candidate for dental implants, call Texas Oral Surgery Specialists at 817-552-3223 to schedule a consultation.