About 10 percent of adults clench or grind their teeth, a practice known as bruxism. Symptoms experienced by those who grind regularly include headaches, jaw pain and cracks in the teeth. Additionally, according to a study out of Malmö University in Sweden, excessive tooth grinding or jaw clenching may also be linked to higher dental implant failure. In fact, researchers found that implant failure rates were three times higher in “bruxers” than in their non-grinding counterparts, reported the Dental Tribune.
Researchers analyzed the data from 3,549 implants that were placed in 994 patients in an effort to study the association between bruxism and dental implant failure. 56 of the patients studied (who had a combined 185 implants) suffered from bruxism. In total 179 implants were reported as failures among both groups. When comparing the number of failed implants in patients with bruxism with those without, the researchers concluded that the failure rates were 13% and 4.6% respectively.
Furthermore, the analysis showed that teeth grinding was more common in men and failure rates were higher for short and wide implants. Other risk factors associated with higher implant failure include smoking, Type 1 diabetes, medication for high cholesterol and hypothyroidism, antidepressant drugs and proton-pump inhibitors.
While researchers concluded that bruxism is associated with an increased risk of dental implant failure, other risk factors must also be considered. Implant length, implant diameter, implant surface, habits such as smoking, and intake of certain medications can all influence the success of an implant. It’s crucial that dentists discuss these risks with their patients prior to oral surgery.