January 14, 2021

How Does Bruxism Affect Your All-on-4® Dental Treatment?

Have you ever found yourself grinding and clenching your teeth? It doesn’t usually cause harm, but when it happens on a regular basis, it can place excessive pressure on your teeth, gums and jaws, wear down your teeth and potentially affect your eligibility for All-on-4® and dental implant treatments. Here is everything you need to know about Bruxism and All-on-4®!

When grinding your teeth during the night, your teeth are exposed to a lot of pressure,

causing a range of oral health complications and even changing the appearance of your face.

If you are missing teeth and are considering All-on-4® and dental implants to replace them, it is essential to be aware of any preexisting conditions you may have. This includes Bruxism. Whilst it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have implants, Bruxism may affect the outcome of your treatment.

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is the medical term for involuntary teeth grinding. It usually occurs because of emotional or physical stress and anxiety, but can also be caused by trauma to the head and substance abuse or mental health conditions. 

It most commonly occurs during your sleep. Most people affected by it, usually don’t know that they suffer from Bruxism. Jaw pain and facial swelling are often the first indicators that you are grinding and clenching your jaw and teeth during the night.

The consequences depend on the severity and frequency of the grinding. Over time, Bruxism can wear away at your teeth, whether they are natural teeth or prosthetic. 

Bruxism can cause a range of oral health issues:

  • Wear and tear on the teeth
  • Broken teeth or dental implants
  • The strain on the joints of the jaw
  • Soft tissue damage

broken teeth

Common Causes of Jaw Clenching

Bruxism is common in younger people and children. People with more aggressive, competitive, or hyperactive personalities are more likely to experience Bruxism. The risk group also includes those in high-stress jobs or in a constant state of anxiety from their day-to-day life. Bruxism can also be a side effect of some medications or substances. This includes antidepressants,  psychiatric medication, smoking, alcohol abuse, caffeine and recreational drugs.

Common factors that may trigger Bruxism include:

  • Emotional stress, such as anxiety or anger
  • Physical effort or stress, such as illness or dehydration
  • Mental health conditions
  • Drug abuse
  • Incorrect tooth alignment
  • The eruption of teeth in babies and children

Symptoms to Look Out For

Dull headaches, a sore jaw and sensitive or chipped teeth are often first signs of Bruxism. In some cases, the pain can extend to the neck and back and cause terrible headaches. The pain often feels like an earache, but the discomfort is actually caused by jaw clenching. Your dentist will be able to identify when your teeth are worn down, which is a clear indication. Severe grinding can also affect the shape of your face, your smile and even your hearing.

Signs and symptoms of Bruxism:

  • Worn-down teeth
  • Chipped tooth enamel
  • Wobbly teeth
  • Aching teeth 
  • Headaches
  • Ear pain
  • Cheek biting
  • Stiffness of the face and temples
  • Aching or stiffness in the jaws
  • Clenching of the jaw when angry or anxious

Treatment Options for Bruxism

Bruxism is usually treated by addressing the root cause: If your Bruxism is stress-related, mindfulness and stress management therapy could offer a solution. Anxiety and mental health issues can also be managed with antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications.

Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders can be contributing to your teeth grinding. Address these issues and it’ll most likely help with your Bruxism, too. Additionally, closely monitor the effects of coffee, caffeinated tea and alcohol to determine if they contribute to your teeth grinding.


If this does not suffice, wearing a splint can help. They are special custom-made mouth guards made to be worn whilst you sleep. They’re made from acrylic and fit comfortably over your teeth, so they won’t disturb you in your sleep. If you have All-on-4®, night splints can be constructed at the completion of your treatment to wear over them while you sleep to prevent clenching and grinding, or even during times where you might feel stressed such as when doing computer work or driving. 

For severe bruxism, botox can be injected into the masseter muscles in your face to stop the clenching or grinding. The masseter is the main muscle used for teeth-grinding. It can help relieve jaw pain suffered from the tension caused by clenching throughout the night. 

In some cases and if you don't respond to other treatments, your GP may also suggest the short-term use of muscle relaxant medication before bedtime.

Click here to learn more about oral hygiene tips for a healthy smile!

How Does Bruxism Affect Your All-on-4® treatment?

All-on-4® and dental implants avoid the issues commonly associated with alternative tooth replacement options, but even our state-of-the-art dental technology and Gold standard surgical protocols can’t guarantee implant success if you continually clench and grind your teeth.

Our world-renowned procedure relies on the integration of the dental implant with the jaw bone, a process called osseointegration. If the implants are exposed to an unnatural amount of pressure, as is the case with Bruxism, the risk of implant failure is greatly increased.

When you seek the care of Next Smile™ dentists and have been diagnosed with Bruxism, we will discuss your options with you. Thanks to a wealth of experience and the use of superior materials, it is still possible to have this innovative treatment done. For a careful assessment of your individual needs, do not hesitate to contact your local Next Smile™ clinic. Our dentists will be able to make a recommendation based on your specific requirements.

What’s Next?

If you think you may be grinding your teeth at night, see your trusted oral health professional as soon as possible. They will examine your teeth and may take x-rays to check the severity of the problem, including any damage done to teeth and bone. 

If you have any questions or concerns about jaw clenching and Bruxism or worry about how it may affect your All-on-4® treatment, give us a call today!