We often get asked about care for dental implants in Bowmanville once the procedure is complete. One of the many issues we deal with is teeth grinding which is a big problem for dental implants as it can cause an implant to eventually loosen and fail.
Our bite force is tremendous. Imagine that your enamel which is the hardest substance in the body can be worn down by clenching, grinding, biting your nails, etc. Now imagine this bite force during the night time when you are asleep. Grinding is a side to side motion, while clenching is an up and down motion. Some people will grind their teeth while some clench and others do both ! Both kinds of motions are very intense and typically more force than is typically required for our daily activities like chewing and eating. The problem is that at night time we have no control over this strong bite force to know to stop. During the day time we can at least catch ourselves during stressful moments and stop the habit.
Natural Tooth Versus Dental Implant
Did you know that over 90 percent of patients clench and/or grind their teeth and are not aware. Most of the time there are no symptoms or pain as it happens gradually. We can often notice during their checkups that the teeth appear ground shorter, or flat. Over time these teeth can develop cracks or fractures and break.
How does grinding or clenching of your jaw relate to dental implants? Dental implants unlike natural teeth do not have a shock absorber ligament. What this means is that our natural teeth when pressure is applied to them can compensate and ‘give’ a bit to dissipate all that bite force applied. Dental implants are fused to the jaw bone, meaning there is no give. This can lead to porcelain wear, bone loss around the implant, chipping or dentures breaking in half !
It is very important that you have your dental implants routinely checked. We recommend visits at four month intervals to check the status of your dental implants and health around your gums. We also highly recommend in cases of suspected grinding or clenching a device called a night guard. This is a custom made appliance that will take the pressure off your dental implants and teeth to prevent problems. We do not recommend store bought night guards as they are one size fit all that is not thick enough and can damage or hurt your jaw joint.
For more information about TMJ issues, grinding of your teeth or dental implant procedures in Bowmanville, contact our team of Bowmanville dentists today at 905-697-1118.
Dr Mark Bishara DDS