Advancements in the construction and placement of dental implants have allowed them to become a viable option for helping reduce the effects of periodontal disease. They can encourage the healing of the gums and the strengthening of the jaw. With the help of bone grafts, dental implants can help alleviate some of the symptoms of gum disease.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria that damage the tissues around teeth. If the bacteria is left untreated, irritation or inflammation begins to develop. This first stage of periodontal disease is known as gingivitis. The bacteria can continue to spread and infect deeper areas of the gums and jaw, leading to full-blown periodontitis.
As bone tissue is worn away by the bacteria, the gum tissues can begin to detach from the teeth and form pockets which can provide a place for bacteria to thrive. Cleaning and routine care become much more difficult, which can then perpetuate additional bone and soft tissue loss.
These losses can sometimes cause teeth to become loose or fall out entirely.
How Can Dental Implants Help With Gum Disease?
Even in its more advanced stages, the damage from periodontal disease can be controlled and even partially reversed. Dental implants can promote the growth of new, healthier bone in places where it was worn away. The metal implant bases become anchored in the jaw via osseointegration and help support the rest of the bone and neighboring teeth. This healing process can restore your jaw to much of its original form and strength.
While dental implants are a helpful way to reduce the damage from periodontal disease, there may be corrective measures that need to be taken before they can be placed. Gum and bone tissue that have been significantly worn away and damaged will not support implants properly. To fix this, we can utilize bone and tissue grafts to help create a strong base for the implants.
How Can Grafts Support Dental Implants?
According to the Mayo Clinic, bone grafts create a more solid base for implants. Bone grafts can help strengthen the jawbone if it isn’t thick enough or is too soft. The act of chewing creates a large amount of pressure on the jawbone, and if periodontal disease has caused significant bone loss, the surgery could potentially fail.
Bone grafts can be created from taking material from your own body or using a synthetic material. Once they are adhered to the jaw, the bone will heal around the graft. This begins to repair the damage done by gum disease, restoring lost bone material. This reversal of gum disease damage enables dental implants to take hold, which promote further bone growth and reconstruction.
Dental implants can be an effective way to treat your periodontal disease. Combining grafts and implants can promote healing and growth in your jaw and gums. If you have gum disease and questions about what dental implants can do for you, contact us today at our Alexandria periodontics office.
Karl A. Smith, DDS, MS
Phone: (703) 894-4867
2500 N. Van Dorn St., Suite 128
Alexandria, VA 22302