The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) estimates that approximately three out of four Americans suffer from some form of gum disease whether it’s gingivitis or the more serious periodontitis. Gum disease can begin with swelling—periodontitis meaning “inflammation around the tooth”—red or purplish gums, gums that bleed easily and bad breath but lead to loose teeth and even teeth that eventually fall out. In fact, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. This is because periodontal disease causes the gums to pull away from teeth. But it’s not all bad news.
If you’re one of the 64.7 million Americans over thirty who have lost teeth due to periodontal disease, there’s a solution, and it’s one of the best and most advanced dental technologies to have been developed in the last forty years: dental implants. Surprised? A lot of patients don’t realize that they’re still candidates for implants even with periodontal disease.
Dental implants can be a convenient and comfortable way to replace teeth you may have lost due to gum disease because they act just like natural teeth. Implants are an artificial root that attaches to the jaw bone and holds a replacement tooth. Studies have shown that dental implants have a 98 percent success rate and can last as long as twenty years.
To be considered for dental implants, you may need to wait and treat your gum disease first because it can affect the success of a dental implant and its potential for longevity. Before moving forward with a dental implant procedure, you and your dentist will determine if you’re a good candidate, and outline the steps needed to treat the gum disease first so that it doesn’t impact the implants. Candidacy includes good jaw bone density, a healthy diet that includes exercise, and being a non-smoker.
A commitment to caring for the dental implants is also a requirement as oral hygiene habits are the best prevention for maintaining the quality of an implant.
Caring for Dental Implants with Gum Disease
The leading cause of dental implant failure is gum disease, so you can see how this could easily become a vicious cycle. To insure your investment in dental implants and to ensure that periodontal disease doesn’t affect it, brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits are essential. Oftentimes, dentists recommend that patients affected by gum disease visit more frequently, maybe three times a year for implant checkups and cleanings. A daily mouthwash particularly for patients affected by gum disease may become part of your implant preservation plan as well.
There’s only way to know for sure if you’re a good candidate for dental implants and to create an implant that can help resolve tooth loss due to gum disease. Schedule an appointment with an implant dentist. Please call (702) 873-0324 or email the office of Dr. James B. Polley to schedule your evaluation.