It’s important to have a healthy mouth before embarking on the dental implant journey!

Oral health is vital to our overall health and wellbeing, yet a resounding 47.2% of the US population suffers from mild, moderate, or severe gum disease — that’s over 64 million adults over the age of 30 dealing chronic inflammation in their mouths! 

And, it’s all connected — if you’re dealing with receding gum lines, you’re also likely dealing with decaying teeth. When there is an abundance of chronic inflammation in your gums and tooth decay, this makes you more susceptible to tooth loss. 

At the Alaska Center For Oral + Facial Surgery, we’re here to help take the anxiety and worry out of the dental implant procedure, and oftentimes, that is through education! Join us in today’s post as we deep-dive into receding gum lines and if dental implants are still a viable option. 

Receding Gums: What You Need To Know

Periodontal disease, receding gums included, is a progressive form of gingivitis where a buildup of plaque and bacteria overwhelm the teeth and gums. Over time, the plaque disrupts the integrity of the gums and begins to pull and fall from the teeth. In advanced cases, pockets are created and this causes even more germs and bacteria to flood the mouth. 

What factors cause receding gums?

  • Extremely aggressive brushing
  • Plaque buildup
  • Poor oral health habits
  • Smoking
  • Genetics
  • Hormonal concerns in women
  • Diabetes
  • HIV

What are the symptoms of receding gums?

  • Red, irritated gums
  • Bleeding gums following brushing or flossing
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Discomfort along the gum line
  • Visibly declining gums
  • Exposed roots
  • Misaligned or crooked teeth

It is always best practices to save teeth and gum tissues, but in some cases as a result of severe tooth decay, teeth may need to be extracted to preserve your overall oral health. 

It’s important to note that about 70% of adult tooth loss is a result of receding gums — there is just not enough tissue to hold the tooth and its roots securely. 

Dental Implants And Receding Gums

If you’re experiencing receding gums and tooth loss as a result, it’s imperative to first address the gum disease before dental implants can be placed. This is the case because dental implants need a strong and secure jaw and healthy tissue in order to be successful. 

Combating Receding Gums Before Implants

The first and foremost way to combat receding gums and tackle gum disease is to cultivate a healthy oral health routine — this means brushing, flossing, and eating healthy, all while scheduling routine teeth cleanings twice a year. 

If you’re diagnosed with mild to moderate receding gums, a periodontist will help put together a treatment plan to restore your gums and help preserve your teeth. If an infection is indicated, this may mean a round of antibiotics, antibiotic gel, and/or antimicrobial mouthwash.

If you’ve experienced tooth loss with an advanced stage of receding gums, surgery such as flap surgery or grafting may be required. 

Flap surgery – Flap surgery is an intensive deep cleaning if all other methods have failed. It removes plaque and bacteria by completely lifting up the gums and then putting the gums back in place after the cleaning is finished.  

Grafting – In grafting, the overall goal is to revitalize the gum tissue that is already there, which means placing tissue surrounding the gums to help them grow back. If there has been bone loss, a bone graft can also be performed to restore the structural integrity to the jaw. 

As with both of these methods, they can only be successful with long-term, healthy oral health care!

If surgery is required, keep in mind, this will lengthen the timeline of your dental implant surgery, but it does not necessarily rule out you as a candidate for this oral surgery procedure. 

At the end of the day, if you’re dealing with gum disease such as receding gums, it doesn’t automatically keep you from getting dental implants. The caveat is, you’ll need to address the gum disease and ensure your gums and jaws are in tip-top shape before embarking on the dental implant journey.  

If you’re ready to restore your dental health by establishing a healthy dental care routine and addressing your gum disease, we’re here to support you in your dental implant journey!

To learn more about the dental implant process, schedule an appointment with us today!