The importance of dental implants and gum care can’t be overstated. It’s a central focus when it comes to ensuring successful dental implant treatment, recovery, and long-term results. The right approach to caring for your gums can help you make the most of your dental implants, minimizing the risk of complications and maximizing the lifespan of your replacement teeth.
Why Taking Care of Your Gums Is Essential Before and After Dental Implants
Tooth loss and gum disease, also called periodontal disease, are two closely linked issues. While many factors can lead to tooth loss, gum disease is among the most prominent. As the infection of the gums worsens and spreads, the tissue that supports teeth can fail. This leads to loosening, shifting, and eventual loss of the teeth.
When dental implants are required to replace missing teeth, the same issue can reduce the chance of success. Ideally, healthy gum tissue will help support the dental implants alongside the jawbone that serves as their foundation. However, damaged gum tissue cannot do so.
Even more critically, gum disease at the time of implant placement can dramatically increase the risk of failure, as the implant site can become infected. This type of infection, called peri-implantitis, is responsible for 34% of implant failures. The presence of any of the stages of gum disease is likely to cause your periodontist to delay implant placement until it is treated.
How You Can Take Proper Care of Your Gums
Taking care of your gums is vital whether you have all your natural teeth, one or more dental implants, or implant-supported dentures. Around both natural teeth and dental implants, there is a small space in the gum where plaque and bacteria can accumulate. This space can deepen, creating a pocket that promotes gum disease, but you can take steps to prevent it.
Routine brushing and flossing are the most essential preventive measures, helping you prevent plaque accumulation. Always use a soft brush to protect replacement teeth and avoid abrasive toothpaste. Avoiding sticky foods is also a good idea, as they leave additional food for bacteria to thrive and grow. You must also avoid eating popcorn when you have dental implants.
One of the most important ways to prevent gum disease is to keep up with routine visits with your periodontist. Once you’re at the point of having dental implants, the increased risk of complications means you should see a specialized periodontist on a regular basis. You will generally want an exam and a cleaning every three months, although your periodontist may have specific instructions for your case.
Dental Implants and Gum Care for Long-Term Oral Health
While the initial recovery period after dental implant placement poses the most significant risk of infection and other complications, caring for dental implants, gums, and other aspects of your oral health is a lifelong commitment. Proper oral hygiene and routine visits help prevent a variety of issues.
Gum recession is one example. Weakened tissue can peel back from natural teeth or dental implants when gum disease occurs. This is a serious problem with natural teeth but an even worse one with dental implants. Gum recession can reveal the base of the implant and allow bacteria to penetrate deeper tissue and even the jawbone.
Taking the Right Approach to Healthy Gums From the Start
There’s an important connection between dental implants and gum health that spans from before your implant surgery through recovery and into living with your dental implants in the long term. You need the right approach to dental care, oral hygiene, and other essential factors to ensure the best outcome for your dental implants.
You can start your journey on the right foot by visiting Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester to determine whether dental implants are right for you. We’ll assess your needs and carefully plan and carry out your treatment to achieve excellent outcomes. You can also continue to trust our team for your ongoing dental implants and gum care. Contact us today or call 585-685-2005 to get started.