What comes to mind when you smile at yourself in the mirror? Are you proud or do you want to hide? We work with many patients who have lost hope for their smiles. Tooth decay, gum disease, accidents, extractions, or other causes have led them to lose so many teeth they feel they should never smile again. But here at Troy Dental Implants, we’re in the business of providing hope for your smile.
Using advanced technology and genuine expertise, Dr. Nazarian has restored countless smiles through dental implants. While we have different options for patients and treat each patient according to his or her unique needs, the result is always the same: a restored smile of which you can be proud.
One of the most common causes of tooth loss is gum disease (also known as periodontal disease). You may be thinking, is it even possible to secure implants into unhealthy gums? Remember, hope is not lost! We’ll discuss what it looks like for patients with gum disease to receive implant and crown restorations. Not only can we help cure the gum disease, we’ll also ensure you leave our office happy to show off your teeth once again.
What is Gum Disease?
There are two common forms of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Both are extremely common, with gingivitis (the less severe form of gum disease) affecting about 70% of the population and periodontitis (the more severe version of gum disease) affecting around 30% of adults over age of 30.
Gum disease itself is actually a bacterial infection of the gums and the jawbone, both of which support your teeth. Bacteria causes an infection after staying on your teeth for too long, therefore creating a sticky film called plaque. If plaque isn’t removed, it eventually hardens to a substance called tartar (also known as calculus).
As the plaque and tartar approach the gums, the bacteria releases toxins that damage the gums. This problem gets worse when the tartar spreads and lives under the gum line, making it nearly impossible for patients to clean it themselves. As the plaque and tartar grow inside the gums, it creates pockets of space, which encourages more plaque growth and more damage to gums. It’s an unfortunate and vicious cycle.
As if you needed more issues, those pockets of space also create distance between your teeth and gums, causing your teeth to become loose and prone to fall out.
Is gum disease really a big deal?
If you washed your hands and they started to bleed, you would probably be alarmed and call the doctor, right? However, patients often brush their teeth and see blood around the gums, but shrug it off as semi-normal. Don’t make this mistake! This could be a symptom of gum disease and it does require attention. While you may think your case of gum disease isn’t actually a big deal, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
Studies have shown that patients with periodontal disease are more likely to suffer from the following:
- Persistent bad breath
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Loose teeth and the loss of teeth (as described above)
- Significant research has shown that patients with chronic periodontal disease are more likely to experience coronary heart disease, diabetes and respiratory disease
- Pregnant mothers with gum disease are more likely to give birth prematurely
One reason patients tend to ignore gum disease is that it rarely hurts, and so they don’t think it’s a real problem. But as you can see, gum disease is not something we should ignore. So, what should you do about gum disease?
Taking care of the gum disease
The best way to stop gum disease is prevention. Quickly cleaning the bacteria and plaque off your teeth through brushing and flossing prevent infections from occurring in and around the gums.
But if you’re reading this article, you might already have gum disease. It’s important to remember that, even if you already have gum disease, treatment is always easier the earlier you start. So don’t delay your visit to the dentist!
The earlier stages of gum disease can be treated through scaling and root planing, in which the plaque and tartar are scraped off your teeth and root surfaces. It’s a non-surgical procedure and might need to happen over multiple visits. The next stage is treated with a pocket reduction procedure, where the dentist folds back your gums during surgery and removes any infectious bacteria, allowing the gum tissue to reattach to a healthy and clean bone.
For severe cases, we may need to look at extraction (if you haven’t lost the teeth already), followed by gum grafts or bone grafts. Gum disease causes the gums to recede and can cause the jawbone to become weak or recede. In order to provide implants that can restore your smile, we may need to take gum tissue or bone from other parts of your mouth and replace what has been lost. This allows us to completely clear the gum disease and gives us a sturdy foundation on which to place implants.
Any treatment for gum disease should be followed up with meticulous home care. If you do not develop better habits around flossing and brushing, you will be prone to getting gum disease again.
Replacing teeth with implants & crowns
Fortunately, Dental implants and crowns provide a viable way to replace your missing teeth from gum disease. Here at Troy Dental Implants, we have a unique process for providing implants and can even provide new teeth for most patients in a single day!
The end-result will be a smile that will make you proud. Once the titanium implants have been placed and fused with your jawbone, we’ll place a custom-made crown on the implant. Each crown is designed to match the look, shape, color, and feel of your natural teeth. You can then use and clean those implants and crowns the same way you use your natural teeth.
Many patients ask, “Won’t I lose my implant the same way I lost my tooth from gum disease?”
Fortunately, research shows that the most implants provided to individuals with a history of periodontitis-associated tooth loss actually last for a long time. Implants also carry the benefit helping your jawbone to stay strong, and they won’t decay or get cavities.
Schedule your consultation
Troy Dental Implants is located in Troy, Michigan. If you’re nearby and struggling with gum disease and tooth loss, we strongly recommend you schedule a consultation with us. Dr. Nazarian will investigate your situation and explain any treatment plans using advanced computer software, ensuring you are comfortable and happy with the direction your smile will take. We hope to see you soon!