Roughly 60 million adults in the United States suffer from gum disease. Not helping this epidemic are the various myths and misconceptions about gum disease that have sprouted up and taken root. One of the more harmful misconceptions about gum disease is that dental implants will make it worse.
While it is true that poor oral hygiene after having dental implants can cause peri-implantitis, the procedure itself does not cause gum disease or make you more prone to it after your implants have healed. To maximize your chances of keeping your dental implants for the rest of your life, without issue, here are some of the top things you should know.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Most gum disease cases are caused by poor dental hygiene, though many others are driven at least in part due to chronic illness or family history. When teeth and gums aren’t maintained properly, bacteria and plaque can thrive and grow into an infection that attacks the gums and other tissue that keep your teeth strong and stable.
Symptoms of gum disease tend to become more severe without treatment and may include any of the following:
-bleeding of gum tissue while flossing or brushing
-lose or missing teeth
-persistent and severe bad breath
The first stage of gum disease, also known as gingivitis, is reversible and can generally be fixed with regular dental care at home. Once it progresses past the first stage, gum disease typically can’t be reversed and requires in-office treatment to manage the symptoms.
What Causes Peri-Implantitis?
Peri-implantitis is a disease similar to gum disease, but occurs when the bone and gum structure surrounding a dental implant becomes irritated and inflamed. Peri-implantitis is not caused by the dental implant itself, but rather a lack of poor dental hygiene – just as gum disease forms when you don’t take care of natural teeth.
Even though dental implants are synthetic teeth, it is still essential to brush and floss them regularly to maintain good oral health and prevent other diseases.