Can you have dental implants with receding gums? All you need to know!

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Can you have dental implants with receding gums is actually a very common and important question. Especially if you’re going through any form of periodontal disease. If you’re experiencing symptoms like bleeding, swollen gums, pain and irritation, and bad breath escorting receding gums, it’s quite possible that you have periodontal disease.

It may cause many problems but in the case of dental implants, the situation of your gums can be a vital factor for them. Because your gums, along with your jawbones, are the supporting tissues of your teeth, their health is quite an important factor in your teeth holding their place. They serve as the tooth’s foundation. So, it is crucial to make sure they are in good health before getting an implant. After all this information answer to the question begins to become vaguer. But don’t worry. We’re here to clarify any questions coming from you. Here we go!

Do dental implants work with receding gums?

There is no doubt that supportive tissues are pretty important for the teeth holding their place. There is two supportive tissue covering your tooth roots and one of them is your gums. So, in order to have strong holding teeth, the condition of your gums is a pretty important factor. It is a fact that receding gums cause complications if you are willing to get dental implants. However, with a proper dental evaluation, your dentist can guide you and offer treatment options. The treatment depends on the stage of the gum recession; there are three ways of treating receding gums:

  • Root planning and scaling
  • Gum grafting
  • Pin-hole surgery

Here’s an in-depth look into these dental treatments:

Root planning and scaling

When plaque keeps building up around the tooth, gums become weak and pull away from the tooth. Normal brushing only allows one to clean the exterior or visible parts. Root planning and scaling are procedures to clean the areas you cannot reach.

It is a fairly simple procedure to get rid of bacteria living below the gum line and in areas, you cannot reach. Root planing is a process in which the dentist removes debris from the root of the tooth. The roots are then smoothed out so that the gum tissue heals and goes back to its original state.

Scaling is another way of deep cleaning the gums and the tooth to remove plaque and debris. Here is a tutorial video for a better understanding of how they work:

Gum grafting

Dental grafting is a way to supplement bone loss or gum tissue to bring back the tooth to its original state. There are grafting procedures in dentistry, bone graft, gum graft, and sinus lift. The gum grafting technique is more common for treating receding gums before getting an implant. In this procedure, the gum tissue is transferred from one part of the gum to the part where the gum is receding. This technique allows the supplementation of gum tissue where it’s missing. This way the exposed tooth roots are covered and the tooth functions normally again.

There are three techniques of gum grafting:

  • Connective tissue grafting: It is an autograft procedure in which a dentist creates a flap and takes a layer of tissue called subepithelial tissue from under the topmost layer. The dentist then stitches the palatal flap back to its original position.
  • Free gingival grafting: Another gum grafting technique is free gingival in which the dentist takes gum tissue directly from the roof of the mouth. There is no need for creating a flap to take gum tissue in this procedure.
  • Pedicle grafting: In this grafting procedure, instead of taking gum tissue from the roof of the mouth, it is taken from the adjacent gum area. The dentist creates a partial flap called a pedicle flap and pulls the gum up to cover the exposed tooth.

Pin-hole surgery

It is a relatively new technique for the treatment of gingival recession, also known as a lunchtime gum lift. It is a lot less invasive and time-consuming than the other procedures.

This procedure involves making a pinhole in the gums present at the root of the tooth. The dentist then stretches the gums towards the crown of the tooth gently with the help of a device. To keep the gums in place, collagen strips are passed through the pinhole instead of stitches. Collagen promotes cell production and eventually, the gums stay in their new position.

FAQs on implants with receding gums

Here are the queries we usually receive on implants with receding gums. We hope they can give you even more infos on the procedure and receding gums. Let’s start!

Can you replace receding gums?

Receding gums are replaceable through the process of gum grafting. In the grafting technique, dentists graft gum tissue from one area to another. The end goal is to cover the root of the tooth to save it from further damage. If you leave gum recession as it is, it leads to bigger complications such as tooth loss, gingivitis, and tooth abscess.

Do gums grow back after a dental implant?

Many people ask questions like “do gums grow around implants?”. Well, gums cannot grow back after the implant naturally, by themselves. They are not able to cover your teeth again by themselves. However, there are ways of grafting gum tissue before the implant so the implant functions normally. After the placement of the implant, the gums heal and support the implant. Therefore, it is important to have healthy gums before getting an implant.

Will you lose your teeth if you have gum disease?

Periodontal disease or gum disease leads to tooth loss if it is left untreated. The reason for this is that gum diseases such as gum recession expose the root of the tooth. It makes the tooth prone to diseases because there is no protection and bacteria easily enter the root. Gum diseases make the foundation of the tooth weak and in extreme cases, it leads to tooth loss.

What happens if I get gum disease after an implant?

We discussed whether can you get implants with gum disease. Now it’s time to answer what happens after.

Getting an implant does not completely eliminate the chances of gum disease. Oral hygiene plays a crucial role in the longevity of your gum implants. Therefore, it is important for you to be consistent and thorough with your dental care. Make sure to regularly brush, floss, and visit your dentist every few weeks. It prevents gum diseases as well as other dental issues and complications.

When is it too late for gum graftings?

Basically, never. Gum grafting is a treatment for patients with advanced gum recession. Doctors suggest other treatments for patients with less serious conditions. If your tooth roots are exposed, the first thought of intervention will be stretching the gum over this area. Gum grafting can be a better option if there isn’t enough gum tissue to cover the area. Also, your condition may change the content of the treatment. For example, sometimes the patients experience bone loss in tooth roots. If there is bone loss, a bone transplant can be necessary. In short, gum grafting is possible as long as you have gum tissue to be transplanted from another part of your mouth.


Malhotra R, Kapoor A, Grover V, Kaushal S. Nicotine and periodontal tissues. J Indian Soc Periodontol. 2010;14(1):72-79. 

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