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Can Exercise Cause Dental Implant Failure?

When you're an avid fitness buff, exercising is as necessary as breathing. While regular exercise is important for maintaining good health, there are times when it can actually be harmful. In particular, it may be necessary to cut down on the amount of exercise you get or avoid it altogether when you're getting dental implants. Here's what you should know about this issue.  

Strenuous Exercise Can Extend Healing Times

One area where exercise can have a negative impact on your dental implant is during the preparation phase. Sometimes people who are getting implants need to have a tooth pulled first, either because the implant is replacing that tooth or to make room for the new false tooth. As part of the healing process, a blood clot forms in the newly evacuated space to protect the bone and nerves from exposure.

Exercise can interrupt this process in two ways. First, any activity that increases your blood pressure can make difficult for a blood clot to form in the wound if it all. This is why dentists typically advise patients to wait at least 24 hours before doing any type of exercise after tooth removal.

The other problem is that strenuous exercise or activity that requires bending or straining can cause the blood clot to rupture and lead to the onset of dry socket. In addition to being unbelievably painful, dry socket increases your chances of getting an infection. This can lengthen the amount of time it takes for the area to heal enough to accept the implant post. Alternatively, if you get a same-day implant, it may fail to take hold if an infection does set in.

Certain Types of Exercise May Prevent Osseointegration

The titanium post used to hold the crown of your new tooth needs to sit relatively undisturbed in the socket mouth for two to four months so it can be integrated into the jaw bone. To maximize the chances of healthy integration, you'll typically need to avoid using that side of the mouth as much as possible and only chew soft foods if you do need to use that tooth.

Any activity that causes you to clench or grind your teeth can have a negative impact on the osseointegration process. For instance, it's not unusual for people to grit their teeth when lifting heavy weights. Not only is this bad for your teeth in general, but the constant pressure from the clenching or grinding may cause cracks or breaks in the bone forming around the post, especially during the early weeks of healing. This may cause the implant to take longer to integrate or fail altogether. 

It's best to discuss your exercise habits with your dentist, so he or she can recommend the adjustments you should make to minimize the adverse affect fitness activities may have on your dental implants. For instance, if you like to lift weights, the dentist may recommend using mouthguards to protect your teeth. For more information about this issue, contact a dentist (such as one from Rose City Dental Care).