Cavities and gum disease are two of the most common, chronic dental diseases. Both are the result of bacterial infections that destroy the hard and soft tissues, but each condition is caused by a specific type of bacteria.
The bacteria that are responsible for cavities or tooth decay are far different than the bacteria that are responsible for gum disease or periodontal disease. As you begin to explore the advantages of implant dentistry, you will learn why your dental implants are more susceptible to gum disease than cavities. [pullquote]A dental implant, though it may look similar to a natural tooth, is formed from materials that are much harder than enamel.[/pullquote]
A cavity develops when bacterial toxins weaken and eventually penetrate the surface of the tooth. A dental implant, though it may look similar to a natural tooth, is formed from materials that are much harder than enamel.
The implant post, made from titanium, is harder and stronger than steel. It cannot be penetrated or weakened by bacterial toxins. The dental crown, bridge, or denture that is selected to replace the tooth structure above the gumline is typically made from a combination of metal and porcelain, two materials that are also strong enough to resist the bacterial attack.
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is also caused by bacterial toxins. Rather than destroy the tooth enamel, these toxins attack the gum tissue and bone that supports the tooth. Dental implant are anchored and integrated with the underlying jaw bone, a relationship that is vulnerable to infection.
Without proper home care and plaque control, the attachment between the implant post and the bone can be compromised. The resulting infection, known as peri-implantitis, can lead to the failure of the dental implant, much like it can lead to the loss of your natural teeth.
Unlike cavities, gum disease is not always caused by a bacterial infection. When a tooth (or an implant) is subjected to excessive force, the supporting gum tissue and bone are often destroyed. Patients who have an unbalanced bite, or a history of clenching and grinding are often advised to use additional protection in order to reduce the biting impact to the teeth.
Contact our implant dentistry team serving Arlington Texas today to learn more about caring for your dental implants.