Dental implants work best when gum tissue is healthy, and bone density is sufficient; gum recession and bone loss can increase the risk of dental implant failure. People who suffer from gum disease often experience gum recession. Even people who do not have gum disease may suffer from gum recession due to excessive force when brushing, teeth grinding, or heredity factors.
Your dentist examines your mouth for signs of gum disease such as gum recession before they decide to proceed with dental implants. If you have gum recession, you may need to reconsider if tooth implants are the right tooth replacement option for you. Taking care of your oral health requires discussing dental implants and gum recession with your dentist.
What Causes Gum Recession?
The causes of gum recession vary, ranging from gum disease to oral hygiene habits. The progression of gum recession puts the success of dental implants at risk.
- Gum Disease
Gum disease is a primary factor for gum recession if left untreated. The gum tissue is infected by oral bacteria, leading to gum recession and more serious dental issues such as tooth loss. Among other health issues, gum disease is also connected to diabetes and blood sugar control.
Even when brushing and flossing their teeth thoroughly, many people still have gum disease because of their genes. People with a family history of gum recession are more likely to experience it.
- Environmental Factors
Genetics can impact gum recession, but so can the immediate environment created by living situations and poor oral hygiene habits in early childhood. If you never received proper dental cleanings when you were young, this could affect your likelihood of gum recession.
- Tobacco Products
Since chewing tobacco leaves a lot of sticky residue on the teeth, it causes damage to your teeth and gums. Tobacco use has been identified as a risk factor for gum disease and gum recession. Try breaking the habit permanently to maintain your teeth’s health.
- Teeth Grinding or Bruxism
Bruxism or teeth grinding leads to gum recession, teeth wearing down, and jaw pain. If you do not take measures to keep your gums healthy, such as using a nightguard, you will eventually suffer worsening oral conditions.
- Poor Oral Hygiene Habits
Plaque can harden into tartar if it is not adequately removed by brushing, flossing, and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash regularly. Leaving it untreated can cause gum recession.
People with severe gum recession or bone loss may have difficulty getting dental implants. A dental implant functions similarly to natural teeth due to its surgical implantation into the jawbone and gum tissue. Unless there is enough gum tissue, the dental implant might fail.
Prepare for Dental Implants by Treating Gum Recession
You and your dentist can discuss how to manage your gum recession before proceeding with teeth implants. Minor gum recession may still be treatable, meaning you are a candidate for dental implants.
In more severe cases, your dentist may treat gum disease using procedures such as flap surgery and soft tissue grafts before considering you for dental implants. You can discuss this with your dentist during a consultation about dental implants and gum recession.
- Deep Cleaning
Plaque that accumulates on the gum line is difficult to remove using a toothbrush and causes inflammation of the mouth's tissues. Eliminating plaque requires a deep cleaning by your dentist. Using an ultrasonic scaler, the teeth are scaled and polished and then disinfected with mouthwash.
- Root Planing
If the gum disease is advanced, a dentist may recommend root planing after scaling and cleaning. Root planing smoothes the gum line and removes plaque and tartar. It also prevents bacteria from growing in pockets.
- Gum Graft
An advanced stage of gum recession may warrant gum grafting. Soft tissue grafting may be necessary to rebuild your gums sufficiently so you can successfully receive a dental implant. It can also enhance the cosmetic appearance of the implant.
In a gum graft procedure, a layer of soft tissue is typically taken from the roof of your mouth. It may also involve moving the adjacent gum to cover the recessed area.
Patients who require dental implants but have receding gums may first need to undergo a gum graft. Gum grafts protect the bones while halting gum recession. With a successful graft, you decrease the chances of dental implant failure and other complications. You can normally schedule a dental implant procedure three weeks after gum graft surgery.
Our Dental Implant Procedure
After an initial consultation with one of our dental professionals, we can schedule you for dental implant surgery. You can choose between conscious sedation or general anaesthesia for your procedure.
Drilling a small hole in the jawbone is the first step to placing the dental implant. At Toothsome, your dentist can cut the gum to expose the bone beneath. They can also perform flapless "keyhole style surgery", which is less invasive, depending on your treatment plan. Following the implant procedure, you will need a recovery period where the implant fuses with your jawbone. After it heals, the abutment and crown are placed. At Toothsome, we use the Straumann Digital Dental Implant Planning System.
Dental Implant and Gum Recession: How to Take Care of Your Gums
Dental implants fully heal and integrate with the bone tissue after six to eight weeks. Post-surgery, we provide free follow-up appointments to monitor how your dental implant is doing.
Gum recession is possible after receiving dental implants, just as at any other time in your life; however, once you have an implant, it’s even more critical to practise preventative measures to avoid implant failure. Your dentist will work with you on gum recession prevention and how to care for your mouth after receiving your dental implants. Take steps to ensure your smile lasts a lifetime with a basic dental hygiene routine.
Toothsome Can Help Restore Your Gums and Smile
Dental implants with gum recession are not a practical option, but your dentist may be able to treat your gum recession, allowing you to become a candidate for dental implants. Addressing these issues first ensures optimal oral and gum health for a better chance of implant success.
The dental professionals at Toothsome are trained in dental implant surgery and are happy to answer questions you might have about the procedure. Contact Toothsome at (02) 8203 8786 to arrange a consultation.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner