September 23, 2022
Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, is an incredibly common condition that’s estimated to impact about 10 percent of the population. Many people who do grind their teeth do it in their sleep, so they’re not even aware they’re doing it. Unfortunately, over time, this can have a grave impact on both your musculoskeletal and oral health, and if you have implants, it could even lead to them failing. Read on to learn how bruxism and dental implants in Irving can impact each other and what you can do to protect your new teeth.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a clinical term for a habit that many people experience—the grinding and clenching of teeth. In many cases, because this happens when people are asleep, it’s difficult to treat because they don’t know they’re doing it. However, there are some signs to look out for that could let you know you have bruxism, including:
- Teeth are flattened, fractured, chipped, or loose
- Tooth enamel is worn, resulting in sensitivity
- Tired, tight, or tense jaw muscles
- Waking up with a headache or migraines
- Difficulty sleeping
- Pain in and around the ear
- Jaw, neck, or face soreness or pain
If you notice any of these, it’s a good idea to let your dentist know before you get dental implants. Ideally, bruxism can be addressed before your implants are placed to drastically reduce your risk of dental implant failure.
Can Bruxism Lead to Dental Implant Failure?
It’s true that grinding and clenching your teeth can lead to dental implant failure, but how? The first step of this procedure is to have the titanium implant posts surgically placed below the gumline and into the jawbone to allow them to naturally fuse with the bone like your tooth roots. This is a key part of the process, called osseointegration, that allows the implants to be strong, stable supports for replacement teeth.
If you’re grinding and clenching your teeth after your surgery, it could impact your implant’s ability to bond with the bone structure, leading to dental implant failure. Or, if you develop bruxism after the osseointegration process, it could cause your implants to become loose. In either case, addressing this issue is of the upmost importance to the success of your implants.
How Can You Protect Your Dental Implants if You Grind Your Teeth?
Even if you have bruxism, that doesn’t mean that you’re not a good candidate for dental implants. To address grinding and ensure the health of your implants, your dentist in Irving can create a customized nightguard made from a durable, cushioned material to place over your teeth as you sleep. It will protect your facial muscles and jaw joints from unwanted pressure and tension as well as shield your teeth from each other and guard your implants. If you grind your teeth and clench your jaw throughout the day, you’ll need to be mindful and intentional about relaxing your mouth when you notice this happening.
With guidance from your dentist and the right protective measures in place, you can enjoy your newly restored smile with dental implants for up to 35 years, making them an investment well worth your time and effort!
About the Author
Dr. Rafiq Hirji has over a decade of dental experience and always takes the time to share his expertise with his patients. He enjoys restoring smiles and offers several custom-tailored treatment options that utilize the latest techniques and lifelike materials to do so, including metal-free crowns and bridges and dental implants. To learn whether you’re a candidate for dental implants, visit Daily Smiles MacArthur’s website to schedule a consultation or call 972-546-4114.
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