Clenching Teeth And Dental Implants

Dental Patient Grinding His Teeth - Bruxism

Implant dentistry is the best treatment for replacing lost or missing teeth, as it provides a robust and lifelike tooth replacement that outlives a lifetime. While implants are durable in most situations, some conditions can create problems for them, and one of those is bruxism/grinding and clenching teeth. Along with wearing down tooth enamel and causing facial pain, earaches, and headaches, grinding teeth can also cause significant problems for dental implants – especially in severe cases. Bruxism is often associated with stress or anxiety. Most people grind their teeth and clench their jaw, being unaware of it. It often happens during sleep, or while concentrating or under stress. If you do it at night, it’s called sleep bruxism. Many times, dentists notice the condition because when it becomes severe enough, it can damage your teeth’ enamel. Mild bruxism may not need treatment. However, in a few people, bruxism can be frequent and austere enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, impaired teeth, and other issues. Because you may have sleep bruxism and may not be aware of it until complications develop, it’s essential to know the signs and symptoms of bruxism and seek regular dental care. 


Signs and symptoms of bruxism may include:

  • Morning headaches
  • Sore jaw or facial muscles
  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Sensitive or loose teeth
  • Impressions or indentations on your tongue
  • Flattened, fractured, chipped or loose teeth
  • Damaged tooth enamel
  • Increase of tooth pain or teeth sensitivity
  • Tight jaw muscles
  • Pain in jaw, neck or face or soreness
  • Pain that feels like an earache, though there is no issue with your ear
  • Injury from chewing on the inside of the cheek
  • Disrupted sleep

Don’t think twice about visiting your dentist or doctor if you have any of the above symptoms or have other concerns about your teeth and jaw.


Cause of bruxism

Doctors don’t completely understand what causes bruxism. Still, it may happen due to a combination of physical, psychological, and also genetic factors. Bruxism may also be stimulated by emotions such as anxiety, anger, stress, frustration, or tension. Sleep bruxism may be a sleep-related chewing action associated with arousals during sleep.

These factors increase your risk of bruxism:

  • Stress– Increased anxiety or stress can lead to teeth grinding. So can anger and frustration.
  • Age– Bruxism is common in young children, but it usually goes away by adulthood.
  • Personality type– Having a personality type that’s aggressive, competitive, or hyperactive can increase your risk of bruxism.
  • Medications and other substances– Bruxism may be a rare side effect of some psychiatric medications, such as certain anti-depressants. Smoking tobacco, consuming caffeinated beverages or alcohol, or using recreational drugs may increase bruxism.
  • Family members with bruxism- Sleep bruxism usually occur in genes. If you have bruxism, other family members also may have the same issue.
  • Other disorders- Bruxism can be associated with some mental health and medical complications, such as Parkinson’s disease, gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), dementia, epilepsy, night terrors, sleep-related disorders like sleep apnea, and attention-deficit disorder (ADHD).


In most cases, bruxism doesn’t create serious complications. But the severity of bruxism may lead to:

  • Damage to your teeth, crowns, restorations or jaw
  • Tension related headaches
  • Severe pain in face or jaw

Only as it wears down tooth enamel, regular clenching and grinding can damage the prosthetic crowns placed on top of implants. Also, clenching places excessive force on the jaw for long periods – and this can result in bone erosion over time. If this persists for a long, it can damage the bone supporting the implant, mostly causing the implant’s failure.


Hence, for the most part, the severity of the grinding or clenching – and not just the presence of clenching itself – determine if dental implants are a suitable treatment or not. Your dentist may perform an oral evaluation to look for clenching signs and check if any hidden damage is there beneath the gums. If your dentist finds that you have clenching teeth issue, it’s essential to seek treatment for the clenching before getting implants. Fortunately, that treatment is usually reasonably natural: in most cases, a custom-fitted mouthguard, worn while sleeping, works well in guarding against grinding. These mouth guards offer a soft, flexible surface to absorb and diffuse the forces created from grinding while also providing a protective wall between the teeth to prevent damage. Stress is another common cause of grinding, so learning and practicing stress management can also help manage the condition.

Implants Pro Center©, San Francisco, offers a consultation at your convenience. You can learn more about dental implants and Implant Pro Center’s treatment approaches. Find out today how dental implants can change your life. At Implants Pro Center©, San Francisco, we take all primary dental and medical PPO insurances and Medicare. This helps in decreasing your anxiety about the expense of dental treatment or oral surgeries. A tremendously experienced and caring team will give life-long care, maintenance, and assistance. Implants Pro Center©, San Francisco, is also decked with all the modern technologies like CT-Scan, Intravenous Sedation, Platelet Rich Fibrin, etc. to present nothing less than the best services. You will be entirely at ease for any of your surgeries.

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