Reviewed by Dr. J. Thompson, DDS

If you’re dealing with gum disease, you may wonder if you can still get dental implants. The answer is: it depends. Dental implants are a good option for individuals who have lost teeth due to gum disease. However, many factors must be considered before determining if a patient qualifies for dental implants. 

In this blog post, we’ll discuss how gum disease can affect your candidacy for dental implants and what you need to know before considering dental implants.

Learn how to keep your gums healthy and ensure the long-term success of your dental implants.

Table of Contents

Can I Get Dental Implants if I Have Gum Disease?

If you have active gum disease, you are not a candidate for dental implants. Active gum disease must be treated first before considering a dental implant. 

But this does not mean that you are automatically disqualified from being a candidate for implants. With proper treatment and management, dental implants may still be a viable option for tooth replacement.

For more information on how bone loss from gum disease leads to tooth loss, read our blog Do I Need a Bone Graft Before Dental Implants?

Key Takeaway

To heal faster after dental implant surgery, follow your oral surgeon’s post-surgery instructions carefully. Rest, hydrate, and maintain good oral hygiene to ensure a smooth recovery.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation and damage to the gum tissue, tooth roots, and underlying bone. Some of the first signs of gum disease include:

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Bleeding gums, particularly after brushing or flossing
  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away
  • Gum recession or a change in the appearance of your gum line
  • Loose teeth or a shift in the way your teeth fit together

The Four Stages of Gum Disease

There are four stages of gum disease, each with its own set of symptoms and potential effects on your oral health:

  • Gingivitis: This is the mildest form of gum disease and occurs when plaque builds up on your teeth and irritates your gums. Symptoms include red, swollen, or bleeding gums.
  • Early periodontitis: In this stage, the infection affects the bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place. You may experience gum recession, deeper pockets between your teeth and gums, and increased sensitivity.
  • Moderate periodontitis: As the infection progresses, it can cause further damage to the bone and fibers, leading to loose teeth or gaps between them.
  • Advanced periodontitis: This is the most severe stage of gum disease and can result in tooth loss if left untreated. At this point, the infection has caused significant damage to the bone and soft tissues supporting your teeth.

Common Causes of Gum Disease

Gum disease is primarily caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth. If not removed through proper oral hygiene practices, plaque can harden into tartar or calculus, which can only be removed by a dental professional. Other risk factors for gum disease include:

  • Smoking
  • Hormonal changes
  • Genetics
  • Certain medications
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes and autoimmune diseases

Interesting Facts About Gum Disease

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost half of all adults aged 30 and older have some form of periodontal disease.
  • Gum disease has been linked to several systemic health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. 
  • Many people with gum disease do not experience pain and may only be aware they have this condition once a dentist or periodontist identifies it.
  • Advanced stages of gum disease can eventually lead to tooth loss if left untreated. The disease can destroy the gums, ligaments, and bones that support your teeth. 

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants, composed of titanium or zirconia, serve as artificial tooth roots that provide a long-term solution for missing or damaged teeth. These implants are surgically inserted into the jawbone and provide a stable foundation for replacement teeth or bridges. For implants to be successful, the gum tissue and underlying jawbone must be strong enough to support the implant. 

For more information on the implant process, read our blog, Dental Implant Procedure Step-by-Step: Your Guide to a Confident Smile.

Do Dental Implants Prevent Gum Disease?

No, dental implants do not prevent gum disease. Dental implants require the same care as your natural teeth.

It’s important to note that dental implants are not immune to diseases. Peri-implant disease can occur, like gum disease, but affects the tissues surrounding the implant. There are two types: 

  • Peri-implant mucositis: a reversible condition where the gum around the implant becomes inflamed. 
  • Peri-implantitis: a more severe condition that can lead to bone loss. 

How Does Gum Disease Affect Dental Implants?

Gum disease can compromise the success of your dental implants. If you have gum disease, you may experience complications with dental implant surgery or post-operative healing.

Advanced gum disease can cause bone loss in the jaw, making it a challenge for the implant to fuse properly. Infected and inflamed gums can hinder healing and potentially lead to implant failure.

Read our blog, Signs of Dental Implant Failure: What You Need To Know, for more information on how gum disease can affect dental implants.

How to Maintain Healthy Gums

There are several steps you can take to prevent gum disease and encourage the long-term success of dental implants.

  1. Maintain a strict oral hygiene routine that includes flossing at least once daily, brushing twice daily, and using an antimicrobial mouthwash. 
  2. Attend regular dental checkups and cleanings. 
  3. Refrain from smoking or using tobacco products. 
  4. Manage diabetes and other chronic health conditions that may impact oral health. 
  5. Adopt a balanced and nutritious diet that promotes healthy gums and teeth.

Regain Your Confidence With Oral Facial & Implant Specialists

Dental implants are a great option to replace missing teeth caused by gum disease, but the infection must be treated before you can be considered for this treatment. 

If you are considering dental implants but have active gum disease, we can help you take the steps necessary towards restoring your dental health. When you are ready for dental implants, our experienced dentists, Dr. Thompson and Dr. Martin, will guide you through the process. To find out if you qualify for dental implants, book a consultation by calling (847) 381-0106 or complete the online booking form.

If you are searching for ‘dental implants near me,’ contact the Oral Facial & Implant Specialists experts.

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