Denture Stabilisation & Gum Disease

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Safety is a concern for any medical procedure, and dental implants are no exception. These small titanium devices are inserted into the jawbone where they form a strong, stabilising base to which dentures and crowns can be attached. The many advantages of dental implant procedures have made them extremely popular, however there are concerns surrounding the relationship between the procedure and gum disease. In this article we address the question of whether or not dental implants are susceptible to gum disease.

Are implants vulnerable to gum disease?

Gum disease is a major concern when it comes to installing and maintaining dental implants. However concerns about these dental tools causing gum disease are unfounded. Implants themselves are made out of titanium, a substance used extensively in medical treatments thanks to the fact that it is very biocompatible, meaning that it is safe and largely does not cause adverse reactions when in contact with human cells and tissues.

With regular and proper oral hygiene, then dental implants will pose no threat of gum disease on their own. When oral hygiene lapses it is the cause of infections like gum disease, which can in turn have extremely negative consequences on the success and longevity of dental implants.

Gum disease is considered a contraindication for dental implant procedures, and a person’s oral hygiene is considered an important factor when determining whether or not the treatment is suitable for a particular candidate.

Gum disease is a broad term that encompasses one of the major dental issues prevalent here in the UK, and indeed many other parts of the world. Gum disease is broadly split into two categories, the earlier stages are known as gingivitis, and as the condition advances it becomes the more serious periodontitis. Gingivitis involves a swelling and sensitivity of the gums, while periodontitis is a destructive condition where the gums are being damaged, and slowly retract to expose teeth or implants.

If a person has periodontitis then the chances of a dental implant surgery being successful are drastically reduced. The procedure is considered successful when the gums have healed over the site of implantation, and the implant itself has successfully fused with the surrounding jawbone. This is less likely to occur when gums are suffering from a condition like gum disease, more over the poor health of the mouth leaves the surgical site more vulnerable to infection.

Moreover a certain amount of bone loss is associated with severe periodontal disease. In these cases, the loss of bone can have a dramatic effect on the health of an implant as an implant relies on a stable fusion with the jawbone. One of the criteria for the failure of implants is a retraction or loss of jawbone around an implant within a year of implant placement, and this is often due to gum disease caused by poor oral hygiene.

In many cases people with on-going gum disease will be advised against implant procedures because of the risks of failure involved. Implant surgery is expensive, time consuming, and uncomfortable, and there is often little point in pursuing it if the chances of success are diminished.

Preventing gum disease to persevere dental implants and their stabilising effect

Regular oral hygiene is important regardless of whether dental implants are placed in the mouth or not. A dentist will give detailed instructions as to the best ways of maintaining the health of your mouth after implant surgery, however general advice includes regular flossing and brushing.

It is also important to be aware of your consumption of sugary foods, and those rich with acids like sodas. These foodstuffs can have detrimental effects on the health of the mouth, providing bacteria found therein with the nutrition they need to grow and damage the mouth, as well as wearing away at the hard substances making up our teeth and disrupting oral acidity.

In many ways once within the mouth a dental implant can be treated like a normal tooth in terms of how it can be cared for. The implant itself is not susceptible to infection as it is made out of metal, but the gum around it needs to be looked after, and standard good oral hygiene will do the job.

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