Here’s what you need to know about dental implants and gum disease.

If you are thinking about getting dental implants, you probably have a lot of questions. It is only natural to want to know everything you can if you are missing a tooth or teeth and are thinking about getting dental implants, and you should definitely know the facts before making a decision. At Duvall Dental Center, our patients often have many questions for us about their dental implants. In particular, patients want to know about their risk of cavities and periodontitis. Read on to learn more about implants and their risk of developing cavities or periodontitis.

Can my dental implants get a cavity?

Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of dental implants is that they look and feel just like your natural teeth. But maybe even better is that your dental implants can’t get cavities. Dental implants are artificial, so even though they are designed to blend in with your teeth, they are not made of natural materials. That said, to promote overall good oral health, you must practice routine gum care and cleanings around the implants, just as you would for your natural teeth.

Can my dental implants get periodontitis?

Before we answer this question, you must know what periodontitis is. Periodontitis is a severe form of gum disease that causes damage to the soft tissues of the gums. As the gums weaken and the infection grows, the condition can also destroy the bone that supports your teeth. When periodontitis is left untreated, it can cause teeth to loosen or fall out altogether.

If your gums are in poor health, you might not be a candidate for dental implants. Gum disease is known to weaken your gums, dissolving the surrounding tissue and bone. Even if you receive successful periodontal treatment, you might not have enough gum tissue or jawbone left to support your dental implants.

Related to this, if you are a candidate and do receive dental implants, you must care for them just as you would your natural teeth. Your dental implants need healthy gums and a strong jawbone to remain intact and function as designed. Suppose you do not adequately care for your implants and the surrounding gum tissues. In that case, you can develop peri-implantitis, which is another form of gum disease, specific to those with dental implants.

What is peri-implantitis?

Though it is similar to periodontitis, peri-implantitis occurs when bacteria build up and affect the surrounding gum tissue and bone. Typical symptoms of peri-implantitis include:

  • Bleeding upon being probed
  • Swelling, inflammation, and redness around the surrounding gum tissue
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Exposure or visibility of the implant threads
  • Swollen lymph nodes around the neck
  • Loss of supporting bone, which can result in a loosening implant
  • Pus discharge coming from the tissues around the implant

If left untreated, peri-implantitis can progress to a more serious stage, which can lead to implant loss. When caught early and with the appropriate supervision of a dental professional, such as Dr. Tyler from Duvall Dental Center, your peri-implantitis can be treated before you become too uncomfortable or suffer from any additional damage.

How do you prevent peri-implantitis and protect your dental implants?

Proper oral hygiene is the best way to protect your dental implants and reduce the risk of developing peri-implantitis. If you have dental implants, you should be sure to do the following:

  • Visit your dentist at least twice a year for an oral assessment and professional dental cleaning
  • Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day
  • Discuss with your dentist how you can prevent bacteria from forming in your mouth
  • Eat a healthy diet consisting of tooth- and gum-friendly foods
  • Avoid the use of tobacco products, as smoking and vaping are a serious risk factor for peri-implantitis

If you develop advanced periodontitis or advanced peri-implantitis, your dentist can work with you on treatment options throughout any stage of the illness. In many cases, tooth replacement, bone grafts, and other restorative treatments are still options that can help treat your condition.

Duvall Dental Center is here for you if you have periodontitis.

If you live or work in the Redmond, WA, area and suspect you have periodontitis, the Duvall Dental Center can help. Dr. Tyler and the team are well versed in treating patients’ periodontitis. With the proper treatment and dental care, you can regain your smile and restore your oral health.

Don’t wait if you think you have periodontitis or if you have been avoiding a trip to the dentist. Request an appointment or give the Duvall Dental Center a call at (425) 307-4832. You can also receive information on a personalized treatment plan through the Duvall Dental Center virtual consult option. Whichever option you choose, we look forward to helping you regain your smile and treat your periodontitis.