June 26, 2024

Can You Get Gum Disease After Getting All-on-4®?

Anyone can get gum disease, whether they have dental implants, their full set of natural teeth or no teeth at all. Gum disease is a common condition in Australia, affecting up to three in every 10 adults. It occurs when the gums become inflamed, and if left untreated, it can destroy both the bone and the soft tissue that support teeth.

Gingivitis is the milder variety of gum disease, and it occurs when plaque builds up along your gumline. Periodontitis, the more serious kind, causes your gums to weaken and shrink back to expose the tooth’s roots. Signs that gum disease has taken hold include bright red, swollen, tender or puffy gums, gums that bleed easily, and lingering bad breath.

If you’re looking into treatments for missing teeth, you may be wondering about the risk of gum disease after All-on-4® treatment. Perhaps you’ve heard that gum disease is a potential side effect after getting dental implants and want to know how to increase your chance of a successful procedure.

Next Smile Australia has the answers. We specialise in the All-on-4® treatment, an advanced treatment invented by Dr Paulo Malo that rests an entire arch of new teeth on just four implants.  A procedure with a 98% success rate, All-on-4® also has a shorter recovery time, removes the need for dental bone grafting and can provide you with a brand-new smile in just 24 hours.

Like regular teeth, All-on-4® requires maintenance to last for years. In this article, Next Smile Australia addresses why gum disease can occur after All-on-4® and how you can prevent it. We also share some All-on-4® oral hygiene tips to protect and preserve your smile.

The Risk of Gum Disease After Getting All-on-4®

Hundreds of thousands of patients have undergone successful All-on-4® treatments. For most people, the procedure is effective and safe, and it carries a very low risk of complications.

However, one of the rare complications is peri-implantitis, an inflammatory condition affecting the tissues around dental implants. Peri-implantitis is when the soft tissue surrounding dental implants gets infected and starts to break down, leading to pain, difficulty swallowing and chewing, and possibly even dental implant failure.

There are some factors that can slightly increase the risk of peri-implantitis after All-on-4® treatment: a compromised immune system, osteoporosis, radiation therapy and lifestyle factors like smoking, heavy drinking and poor hygiene.

For best results, make sure your mouth is clean and hygienic before your surgery and alert your dentist to any discomfort or indicators of health problems in your mouth.

Why Gum Disease Still Occurs After Getting All-on-4®

Gum disease doesn’t discriminate. It can affect anybody, even someone with a healthy-looking full set of teeth. While it usually announces its arrival with swollen gums, loose teeth and receding gum lines, it’s possible to have gum disease without any of the usual signs or symptoms. That’s why dental check-ups at least twice a year is so important. Early treatment helps to significantly reduce the risk of tooth loss.

If losing a tooth is inevitable, having it extracted is your best option. But even with the affected teeth removed, gum disease continues to spread if left untreated, potentially risking more teeth.

Gum disease weakens the tissue and bone, which can reduce the likelihood of a successful implant surgery. Sadly, no dental implant – including All-on-4® - can get rid of gum disease or the risk of gum disease. While gum disease is highly unlikely to occur as the result of ill-fitting implants, it can still be caused by factors like poor oral hygiene and inadequate cleaning, even with All-on-4®.

How to Prevent Gum Disease after Getting All-on-4®

Preventing gum disease after All-on-4® treatment isn’t that different from the usual steps you take to keep your gums healthy. Some tips for All-on-4® maintenance and gum disease prevention include:

Follow recommended oral care procedures

You can care for All-on-4® dental implants much the same way as you would natural teeth: brush twice a day, floss once a day to remove food particles and rinse with mouthwash.

Schedule regular dental check-ups

Regular dental check-ups and cleans give your dentist a chance to detect early signs of gum disease and ensure your implants have maintained optimal placement.

Quit smoking

If you smoke, quitting will reduce your risk of gum disease as well as improve your oral health in general.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables and limiting sugar-filled snacks and drinks will help prevent tooth decay and plaque while drinking lots of water protects against gum disease by stimulating saliva production.

Monitor your existing health conditions

With the help of your GP, keep an eye on any existing health conditions that might impact the health of your gums, such as diabetes, and maintain your medications and treatments.

General Oral Health Tips after Getting All-on-4®

Here are some All-on-4® oral hygiene tips you can take on after your treatment to maintain the stability of your dental implants and the health of your mouth:

Brush your teeth twice a day (remember to floss)

Clean your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristle toothbrush, then floss and use antibacterial mouthwash once a day. Flossing helps prevent plaque build-up between your teeth, which can lead to gum disease. Avoid abrasive toothpaste, which may wear down the surface of dental implants.

Schedule regular professional cleans

All-on-4® dental implants don’t decay like natural teeth. However, regular check-ups and cleans give your dentist a chance to clean off plaque and tartar that you might miss while brushing, which can cause gum disease if left unchecked.

Limit your alcohol consumption

Alcohol should be avoided during the first few days of recovery from All-on-4® surgery and limited after that. It can change the pH balance in the mouth to make the environment overly acidic, affect the absorption of vitamins and minerals, and delay wound healing.

Watch your new implants for signs of complications

While the risk of complications from All-on-4® dental implants is low, you should notify your dentist immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms like redness, swelling or pain.

Follow your aftercare procedure

Your dentist will provide guidelines for looking after your All-on-4® dental implants. Following these guidelines will aid you in your recovery from All-on-4® surgery and help your implants last longer.

Restore Your Smile at Next Smile Australia

Treatment with the All-on-4® procedure starts with a personal consultation with a Next Smile Australia team member to determine suitability. If you’ve lost multiple teeth due to injury or tooth decay, have advanced-stage gum disease, or can’t have your teeth restored by other means, All-on-4® is likely the treatment for you.

You’ll receive your first set of teeth (your provisional bridge) typically as soon as you wake up from your operation and never more than 24 hours afterwards. Next Smile Australia will provide expert advice and resources on aftercare as part of the process. If you’d like to learn more about the All-on-4® treatment, attend an information session or arrange a personal consultation, contact the Next Smile Australia team.