Gum Recession and Dental Implants | Smile Stories

Can You Have Dental Implants With Receding Gums?

can you have dental implants with receding gums

To be a viable candidate for dental implants you need to have a healthy mouth. There needs to be enough good quality jaw bone and gums to create a solid foundation for the procedure to be successful. 

If you have some gum recession you might be wondering, can you have dental implants with receding gums? 

The good news is, the answer is yes. In most cases, you can still have dental implants. 

However, as everyone’s gums and teeth are unique, an expert implantologist will need to take a look in order to give you a definitive answer. They are the best people to decide whether you are suitable for dental implants that will have a successful outcome.

We can’t say for certain whether you’re suitable for implants until we actually see your gums. But today, the Smile Stories team will help you understand what receding gums are, and how they might impact your suitability for dental implants.

We also look at the treatment options available to restore your gums to a healthy state ahead of the implant procedure. 

What are Receding Gums?

The teeth protrude from the gums, or to use the medical name, the Gingiva. Healthy gums are usually coral pink, although melanin pigmentation may naturally make them darker. 

The gums surround the teeth making a seal around them. Most of the gum is tightly bound to the bone. The seal prevents food and bacteria from getting trapped under the gum and having easy access to the roots and the jawbone. 

When the gum tissue wears away or pulls back from the teeth it is called gum recession, or receding gums. More of your teeth begin to be exposed.

As gum recession worsens, even more of the tooth becomes exposed. In extreme cases the tooth roots become visible. 

Effects of Gum Recession

If the gums are no longer covering the teeth, and in extreme cases the roots, the teeth are not being supported. Tooth roots are at risk of decay and tooth sensitivity can become an issue that may make eating more difficult.

As well as gum recession there may also be a significant loss of jaw bone. If there isn’t enough good quality bone the teeth may fall out.

The jawbone and gums are both needed to hold the teeth in place. Without them, the teeth are at risk of becoming wobbly and falling out.

This may even be the reason you are looking to get dental implants. But even if it isn’t, losing teeth is a significant consequence of receding gums that may affect you in the future.

Why Do Gums Recede?

There are several reasons the gums may recede. Let’s take a look at them now. 

Gum Disease

The major cause of gum recession is periodontal (gum) disease. 

Gum disease begins when plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth isn’t removed daily. If not removed it produces toxins that irritate and inflame the gums. 

An inflammatory process kicks in and destroys the gum tissue. This causes the gum to separate from the tooth creating a pocket. Bacteria may get trapped in the pockets, compounding the problem further. 

As the disease progresses the gums and jawbone are destroyed. These are the very foundations needed to hold your teeth, and dental implants in place.  

Other Causes of Gum Recession 

Poor oral hygiene and smoking are known to cause gum disease and receding gums.  

Hormonal changes, your genes, grinding and clenching your teeth, crooked teeth, or a misaligned bite may also cause the gums to recede. 

Aggressive tooth brushing and lip or tongue piercings can rub against the gums causing them to wear away. 

Gum Recession and Dental Implants

If you have receding gums, the cause needs to be identified and treated before you have dental implants fitted.

Dental implants are an investment. It wouldn’t make sense to fit them if they stand a strong chance of failure due to unstable foundations. 

It will be a huge waste of money for you. 

It is possible that a less reputable dentist might just take your money anyway. Luckily there are not many implant dentists that would do that, in the UK anyway, and certainly not here at Smile Stories.

The good news is that gum recession can be prevented by developing a good daily oral hygiene routine. 

The NIH suggests that you gently brush your teeth on all sides with a soft-bristle brush and fluoride toothpaste. 

Use small circular motions and short back-and-forth strokes, brushing carefully and gently along your gum line. An electric toothbrush is a brilliant investment that will help improve your oral hygiene routine. 

Clean between your teeth with dental floss to remove plaque and leftover food.

Treating The Cause of Gum Recession

Before the gum recession, itself can be treated the underlying cause needs to be addressed.  

Gum disease

If gum disease is the cause of your gum recession it needs to be treated. There are various ways of treating it depending on how advanced it is. Treatment aims to thoroughly clean the plaque from above and below the gum line. 

Non-surgical methods include scaling and root planing and in some cases antibiotics. In more advanced cases pocket reduction surgery may be required. 

Teeth grinding

A  mouthguard is usually the treatment of choice for bruxism (grinding your teeth). 

Misaligned teeth

There are many ways that you can straighten your crooked teeth. Invisalign, a treatment option that we offer from your professional Dental implants Bournemouth, is one of the most popular methods of straightening teeth. Straightening your teeth will help resolve your gum disease if this is the cause.

Treating the Gum Recession

There are several ways to deal with gum recession after the underlying cause has been taken care of. 

A crown or gingival mask is often used to hide any receding gums. But if you are suitable for dental implants a gum graft will be the preferred treatment. 

In a gum graft, a piece of tissue from a healthy gum or the roof of your mouth is used to cover the receding gum. It reinforces the fragile, receding gum tissue to protect it from further recession. 

I Have Receding Gums – Can I Have Dental Implants?

Whilst good quality gums and jawbones are needed to place dental implants, gum recession doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have dental implants.

The only way to know if you’re a suitable candidate is to see an expert implantologist like those here at Smile Stories.

Take your first steps today and book a consultation. We can assess your gums as well as your teeth and bone density using our advanced 3D smile assessment and find out if you are a candidate.


Dr Gareth Edwards BDS (Hons) MFDS RCPS (Glasg) is a dentist who qualified with honours. Based in the Poole and Bournemouth area, he has a keen interest in teeth straightening and aesthetic dentistry and is a certified Invisalign provider.

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