Novato Dentist Discusses Effects of Bruxism on Dental Implants

Written by Dr. McConnell on Dec 8, 2015

In order to ensure that dental implant treatment is successful, it’s important for patients of the Novato Dentist to take steps to protect the implants during the recovery process. If you suffer from bruxism, commonly known as chronic teeth grinding, you are at greater risk of dental implant failure and will need to take special care once your implant is placed. 

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. In many cases, though, we can fabricate a customized mouth guard that you wear while sleeping to help protect the teeth from the damage of bruxism and reduce strain on your jaw. 

Bruxism and the Risk to Dental Implants 

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.

Please Contact Our Office for More Information

If you chronically grind your teeth and are considering dental implants, please give the Novato Dentist a call. We’ll arrange a convenient consultation to discuss your needs.