Dental Implants And Gum Recession: A Problematic Combination

Dental implants are both prominent and difficult to spot. The prosthetic tooth attached to the implant will be visible when you smile or open your mouth, and yet it also blends seamlessly into the rest of your teeth, looking exactly like the natural tooth that once occupied its dental socket. Clearly, it's a problem when the fact that you have a dental implant becomes obvious.

Receding Gums

Gum recession is a common problem and a potentially serious one at that. In addition to compromising your overall oral health, it also leads to some aesthetic concerns. These concerns become even more pronounced when the recession has exposed the margin of the implant, where the bolt implanted into your jaw meets the prosthetic tooth. A small patch of metal can become obvious, and subsequently, the fact that you have a dental implant becomes obvious. How can this happen?

Possible Causes 

Receding gums can be a sign of periodontal disease, although the implantation process may have also played a role. The angle at which the implant was positioned may have been slightly miscalculated, leading to a minor tilting of the implant and its prosthetic tooth. This can create undue pressure on the gingival tissues at the base of the prosthetic tooth, causing them to pull back (or recede). 

Seek Treatment

When you notice that a portion of your dental implant has become visible, you must see your dentist as soon as you can. Although the exposed portion of the implant may not be especially obvious, it's likely to get worse as your gums continue to recede and prompt action is needed to correct the issue. 

The Implant

Correcting the issue involves determining the cause. When the initial implantation was at an incorrect inclination, the implant will need to be adjusted. Unfortunately, it may even be necessary to remove the implant before reinserting it at a new, correct angle. When the implant is not at fault, your gums will require treatment.

Your Gums

Gum recession can be corrected with gingival grafting. This is when a minuscule amount of tissue is taken from another site in your mouth and sutured onto the area where the tissue is deficient (at the base of the implant). The grafted tissue fuses with the underlying tissue, thickening your gums and hiding the exposed portion of the implant. 

It defeats the purpose of receiving a dental implant if it's not going to look natural. As such, any exposed portion of the implant should be assessed by a dentist.

If you have questions about dental implants, contact a local dentist.