Karrinyup Dental Centre

The Surprising Link Between Dental Implants and Gum Disease: Unveiling the Connection

Karrinyup Dental Centre

Written by:

Dr. Justin Soon

Published on:

The Surprising Link Between Dental Implants and Gum Disease: Unveiling the Connection

Gum disease affects a significant portion of the Australian population, with 3 dout of every 10 adults diagnosed with moderate to severe periodontal disease. This condition not only impacts oral health but also has implications for overall well-being.

One contributing factor to gum disease is missing teeth, which often leads individuals to consider dental implants as a tooth replacement option. Dental implants have gained popularity due to their effectiveness in restoring oral function and aesthetics.

However, it’s essential to understand the relationship between dental implants and gum health before making a decision. In this blog post, we will explore the connection between dental implants and gum disease, discussing how dental implants can play a role in managing and addressing gum disease.

Whether you’re considering a or simply seeking more information on gum disease treatment, this post will provide valuable insights. Let’s dive in and learn about your treatment options!

Summary of The Content

  • Dental implants act as artificial tooth roots and are viable tooth replacement options for tooth loss due to periodontal disease or injury. They contribute to gum health but require proper care to prevent gum disease.

  • Gum disease, an inflammatory condition which is caused by the buildup of bacterial plaque, can lead to tooth loss and may affect the success of dental implants.

  • Dental implants maintain oral health by preventing bone resorption, maintaining facial structure, preventing teeth shifting, improving oral function, enhancing oral appearance, and promoting better oral hygiene.

  • The feasibility of getting dental implants with gum disease depends on the disease’s severity and overall oral health.

  • Post-gum disease treatment, the dental implant process involves consultation, jawbone preparation, implant placement, healing period, and abutment and crown placement.

  • Maintaining good dental hygiene habits and caring for your dental implants and gums involves regular brushing, flossing, non-abrasive, non- fluoride toothpaste, avoiding smoking, limiting alcoholic beverages, a healthy well-balanced diet, regular dentist visits, and therapeutic mouth rinse.

  • Managing gum disease before implant surgery improves the success rate and prevents complications. Active gum disease will put you at risk of dental implant failure.

Understanding the Connection Between Dental Implants and Gum Disease

Tooth implants are artificial tooth roots and are usually made of titanium. They provide a stable and strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth. They are a viable option for individuals who have lost a tooth or teeth due to injury, periodontal disease, or some other reason.

Now, you might be wondering, how are dental implants and gum disease connected? The link between these two may seem surprising, but they are indeed interconnected.

Firstly, severe gum disease can lead to tooth loss, which can be replaced with dental implants. Secondly, if active infection of the gums is present before getting dental implants, you are at risk of postoperative complications during and after the implant procedure.

Lastly, proper oral hygiene and regular dental care are crucial to prevent gum disease around dental implants and maintain their long-term success.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease. It is an inflammatory condition affecting the tissues surrounding the teeth. It’s caused by bacteria in dental plaque, a sticky, colourless film that constantly forms on our teeth.

Variety of gum disease types can be caused by several factors, such as:

  • Inadequate Dental Care:
    Gum disease often stems from insufficient oral care. If brushing and flossing aren’t done properly, plaque can accumulate, potentially leading to gum disease if not addressed.

  • Tobacco Use:
    Smoking can disrupt the standard operations of cells in gum tissue, increasing the likelihood of oral infections such as gum disease.

  • Fluctuating Hormones:
    Alterations in hormonal levels can heighten gum sensitivity, making them more prone to gum disease.

  • Diabetes:
    Diabetic patients are more susceptible to infections, including gum disease, due to their condition.

The signs and symptoms of gum disease can vary but may include:

  • Red, swollen or tender gums: This is one of the first signs of gum disease.

  • Bleeding gums: You might notice this while brushing or flossing.

  • Persistent bad breath: This can be caused by bacteria in the mouth.

  • Loose teeth: As gum disease progresses and becomes a severe form, it can lead to tooth mobility and tooth loss.

Understanding gum disease and its link with the dental implant process is a vital step in maintaining your oral health. You can then make informed decisions about your dental care.

Remember, dental implants have numerous benefits, but they must be cared for just like your real teeth to prevent any issues, including gum disease.

The Role of Dental Implants in Oral Health

Dental implants are more than just a cosmetic option; they play a vital role in maintaining oral health, particularly for those who have experienced tooth loss. Here are six ways dental implants contribute to oral health:

  • Prevent Bone Resorption:
    When a tooth is lost, the lack of stimulation causes loss of the underlying jawbone, a process known as bone resorption. Dental implants provide this necessary stimulation, helping to maintain healthy bone density and prevent bone loss.

  • Maintain Facial Structure:
    By preventing bone loss, dental implants help maintain the natural shape of your face and jaw, preserving your original bone structure.

  • Prevent Shifting of Teeth:
    Dental implants fill the gap left by a missing tooth, preventing other teeth from shifting out of place. This is crucial in maintaining the alignment of your teeth.

  • Improve Oral Function:
    Dental implants function like natural teeth, improving eating and speaking abilities. No more struggling with loose dentures or being conscious about missing teeth!

  • Enhance Oral Appearance:
    Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth, enhancing your smile and boosting your confidence.

  • Promote Better Oral Hygiene:
    Unlike dentures, dental implants do not require special cleaning procedures, promoting better oral hygiene habits.

Dental implants serve several functions that can potentially impact gum health:

  • Stimulation:
    One of the benefits of dental implants is stimulating the jawbone, just like natural teeth, promoting bone health and preventing gum recession.

  • Support:
    Dental implants provide support to the surrounding teeth and soft tissues, helping maintain gum health.

  • Prevention:
    By filling the gap left by a missing tooth, dental implants prevent food particles from getting stuck, reducing the risk of gum disease.

  • Restoration:
    Dental implants restore the function of natural teeth, allowing for normal brushing and flossing, which are crucial for gum health.

  • Longevity:
    With proper care, dental implants can last a decade or more, providing long-term support for oral and gum health.

Can You Get Dental Implants If You Have Gum Disease?

A common question many patients ask is whether they can get dental implant treatment if they have gum disease. The answer largely depends on the severity of the gum disease and the overall health of the patient’s mouth. Here are some reasons why it’s important to manage gum disease first:

  • Healthy and solid Foundation:
    Dental implants require a healthy foundation. Active gum disease can compromise this foundation, potentially leading to implant failure.

  • Prevent Complications:
    Addressing gum disease before implant surgery can help prevent complications during and after the procedure.

  • Improve Success Rate:
    The success rate of dental implants is higher in a healthy oral environment.

  • Prevent Further Damage:
    Gum disease can lead to further bone damage if not addressed, including bone loss, which is crucial for implant placement.

  • Promote Healing:
    A healthy mouth heals faster and more effectively, which is important for recovery after dental implant treatment.

  • Long-term Success:
    Managing gum disease can contribute to the long-term success and functionality of dental implants.

Potential risks of getting dental implants when having gum disease include implant failure, infection, and prolonged healing time.

The Process of Getting Dental Implants Post-Gum Disease Treatment

Once gum disease treatment has been successfully completed, the dental implant process can begin. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Consultation and Planning:
    The first step of the dental implant treatment involves a thorough examination and consultation with your dentist. They will evaluate your oral health, discuss your needs and preferences, and develop a personalised treatment plan.

  2. Preparation of the Jawbone:
    If inadequate bone density is observed in the area, procedures such as bone grafting may be performed. Bone grafts are transplanted to the area where significant loss is observed so there will be sufficient bone to support the implant.

  3. Dental Implant Placement:
    During implant surgical procedure, the dentist places the titanium post into the jawbone.

  4. Healing and Integration:
    The implant will fuse with the bone over several weeks to months. This is a process called osseointegration.

  5. Placement of the Abutment and Crown:
    Once healing is complete, an abutment is attached to the implant. A custom-made crown is then placed over the abutment.

Patients may experience some discomfort after the dental implant procedure. This can be managed by taking over-the-counter pain relievers as advised by the dentist. It’s also important to maintain good oral hygiene habits for the success of dental implants and prevent the recurrence of gum disease. Regular dental check-ups are also crucial during the healing process and beyond.

Benefits of Dental Implants for Patients with Gum Disease

For those who have battled various stages of gum disease, from mild to advanced gum disease, dental implants can offer a fresh start and a path to improved oral health. Here are six benefits of dental implants for patients who have suffered from this form of gum disease:

  • Improved Oral Health:
    Dental implants aren’t just about giving you a beautiful smile. It can help maintain the health of your remaining teeth by reducing the load on them and preventing shifting and crowding. They serve as an excellent option for tooth replacement, filling the gap left by lost teeth and acting as a foundation for implants.

  • Prevention of Bone Loss:
    Dental implants stimulate the jawbone, preventing bone loss that often occurs after tooth loss. They contribute to maintaining adequate bone density and healthy bone tissues.

  • Enhanced Quality of Life:
    With dental implants, you can speak, eat, and smile with confidence, knowing your teeth look natural and function effectively. They restore your healthy smile and contribute to a positive diet, allowing you to eat a variety of foods.

  • Durability:
    Dental implants can last many years if properly cared for. They are a modern dentistry option that withstands the test of time.

  • Convenience:
    Unlike dentures, dental implants are fixed, addressing the inconvenience of removing them for cleaning or while sleeping.

  • Improved Appearance:
    Dental implants feel and look like your own teeth, enhancing your smile and facial aesthetics. One of the most striking benefits of dental implant is that they blend seamlessly with your adjacent teeth, offering a natural look.

Caring for Your Dental Implants and Gums

Maintaining the health of your dental implants and gums is crucial in preventing gum disease and for the longevity of your implants. Here are eight tips on how to care for your dental implants and gums that you can add to your oral health care regimen:

  • Brush Twice a Day:
    Use a soft-bristle toothbrush to gently clean your teeth and implants. This is a fundamental part of your oral hygiene habits.

  • Floss Daily:
    Use dental floss or interdental brushes to clean between your teeth and around your implants. This helps prevent bacterial infection and the formation of pockets of infection.

  • Use a Non-Abrasive Toothpaste:
    Avoid toothpaste with harsh ingredients that can scratch the surface of your implants.

  • Avoid Smoking:
    Smoking can slow healing and lead to gum disease, which can affect the success of your dental implants.

  • Limit Alcohol Consumption:
    Excessive alcohol can affect the healing process of implants and contribute to gum disease.

  • Maintain a Healthy Diet:
    A vitamin and mineral-rich diet can promote healing and maintain the health of your gums.

  • Visit Your Dentist Regularly:
    Regular check-ups and professional cleanings can help detect any issues early and keep your implants and gums healthy.

  • Use a Therapeutic Mouth Rinse:
    A mouth rinse can help eliminate plaque and prevent gum disease.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the link between dental implants and gum disease is an important aspect of oral health that should not be overlooked. Dental implants play a significant role in maintaining oral health, especially for those who have suffered from gum disease. However, it’s crucial to manage any active gum disease before proceeding with dental implants for optimal outcomes.

Dental implants offer numerous benefits, from improved oral health to enhanced quality of life. However, the success of dental implants largely depends on practising good oral hygiene and scheduling dental check-ups.

If you’re considering dental implants, we encourage you to consult with an implant dentist. You can discuss your options and determine the right course of action for your specific needs. At Karrinyup Dental Centre, we’re committed to providing you with quality care and helping you achieve a healthier smile through a successful implant placement.

Remember, dental implants are not just about replacing missing teeth; they’re about restoring your confidence, improving your quality of life, and maintaining your overall oral health.

So, don’t wait. Book a consultation appointment with us today by calling our clinic or visiting our website. Your journey to a healthier and more confident smile starts here.

Dr. Justin Soon


Dr. Justin Soon

Dr. Justin completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery at the University of Western Australia. Dr Justin completed his surgical implant training under the mentorship of Dr. Glen Liddelow, Dr. Graham Carmichael, and Dr. Brent Allan at the Branemark Centre.

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