Can Bruxism Lead to Dental Implant Failure?

By Dr. Damon on October 25, 2015

An illustration of a dental implant beneath the gum line Implant dentistry offers a permanent solution to replacing missing teeth. In order to ensure that dental implant treatment is successful, patients must take steps to protect the implants during the recovery process. Patients who suffer from bruxism, commonly known as chronic teeth grinding, are at greater risk of dental implant failure and require special care during the recovery process. Learn more about the risks of bruxism and dental implant failure in this overview from Fort Worth, TX dentist Clark Damon.

What Is Bruxism?

Regularly grinding or clenching your teeth is also known as bruxism. For most bruxism sufferers, teeth grinding or clenching occurs while sleeping. Bruxism has many possible causes. Some people experience teeth grinding due to stress, misaligned teeth, or missing teeth. Excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption can also lead to bruxism. Untreated bruxism can lead to major dental damage, like chipped teeth, tooth erosion, or severe wear. Bruxism also puts great stress on the teeth and dental restorations.

Treating bruxism begins with determining the cause, but in many cases wearing a customized mouth guard while sleeping can help protect the teeth from the damage of bruxism and reduce strain on the jaw. For those who experience bruxism symptoms as a result of stress, practicing meditation or other stress-reducing activities can stop teeth grinding and clenching.

Bruxism and the Increased Risk of Dental Implant Failure

Dental implants require an extended period of time to heal. As the jawbone heals around the dental implant, a process called osseointegration occurs. Osseointegration creates a bond between the bone tissue and the dental implant, securing the implant within the jaw.

In order to reduce strain on the dental implant and jawbone during the healing process, dental implant patients should eat soft foods and avoid chewing on the implant site. Eating hard, crunchy foods and chewing on the implant site can dislodge the implant during the healing process. This is also why bruxism can cause dental implants to fail. Bruxism puts great strain on the teeth, and strain on dental implants, which can lead implant failure.

For bruxism sufferers who have had successful osseointegration, it is still important to seek or continue treatment for teeth grinding as the lifespan of all dental restorations can be greatly diminished by continued bruxism.

Are Patients With Bruxism Candidates for Dental Implants?

Patients who suffer from bruxism may still be good candidates for dental implants, provided they seek treatment for bruxism. In most cases, this will involve the use of a custom mouth guard at night. Patients should be committed to wearing the nightly mouth guard to improve the chance of implant success. Candidates should also have healthy gums and teeth and be healthy enough to undergo surgery. With special care, even bruxism sufferers can enjoy the many benefits of tooth replacement with dental implants.

Schedule a Consultation

Dental implants can restore your smile and improve dental function. With proper care, patients with bruxism can have successful dental implant treatment. For more information about bruxism and dental implants, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Damon.

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