Dental Implants to Stabilise Teeth Lost Through Gum Disease

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One of the major causes of tooth loss is gum disease, a progressive condition which can ultimately result in the loss of one or more of a person’s teeth. In this article we look at gum disease, and more specifically at how dental implants are used to stabilise artificial replacements for the teeth often lost through the condition.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is a fairly non-specific term in that it describes an infection of the gum tissue that is such an important part of our mouths. Gum disease can be split into categories, defined by the progress of the condition and the extent of infection.

Gingivitis is the term used to describe early stage gum disease, which involves an inflammation of the gums often visible as swelling. Another indication of this condition is that the gums become particularly susceptible to bleeding, even when doing something as routine as brushing your teeth. There are actually a range of different classifications of gingivitis, and many different causes.

The most common causes of gingivitis include disease triggered by dental plaques. Plaques are growths of bacteria present in the mouth, also known as biofilms. These stick to the surface of our teeth, and can, if left to grow, cause gingivitis.

The main difference between gingivitis and the later stage of gum disease known as periodontitis is that the former is usually non-destructive, meaning that although the gums are inflamed and sore, they are not actively damaged by the condition. During periodontitis there is a gradual loss of the bone around the teeth which can eventually lead to the loss of said teeth.

Gum disease is preventable through control of both diet and oral hygiene. Avoiding an abundance of overly sugary foods can preserve gum tissue as bacteria forming plaques are deprived of the type of foods they like most. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits are also key to preventing any unwanted build-up of plaque and resulting gum disease.

Once teeth are lost through gum disease, there are a number of different courses of action a dentist can take. One of the most effective is the use of dental implants to support and stabilise artificial teeth.

Dental implants to stabilise prosthetics replacing teeth lost through gum disease

Dental implants offer a number of distinct advantages when used to support replacement teeth. These small titanium fittings act as structural supports, mimicking the natural roots that lie beneath our teeth. In doing so, dental implants allow a patient to eat a broader range of foods. Traditional dentures and crowns were very limited as they lacked the support needed for a natural bite and chewing motion. Implants are very much an answer to this problem, and have been hugely successful as a result.

Implants also stop the progressive resorption of jawbone which can be a consequence of tooth loss through gum disease. Regular use of a tooth maintains the jawbone beneath, and dentures without implants can’t stimulate the jawbone in the same way.

Dentures not fixed to dental implants are known to cause some discomfort by slipping and sliding, particularly when chewing certain foods. This is not an issue where implants are used as dentures are firmly supported by their fixtures to prevent any unnecessary movement and aggravation of the gum.

While dental implants and dentures can offer a reliable and effective replacement for teeth lost through gum disease, they will never match the level of comfort and ease of use associated with natural teeth. As such preventing tooth loss and periodontal disease is the preferred course of action. All this takes is regular care of your teeth, dental visits, and some control over the amount of sugary foods you eat.

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