implants dental

While dental implant surgery is generally considered safe and successful, some individuals may experience pain or discomfort afterward. This blog post aims to provide useful information and guidance to individuals who may be experiencing pain while chewing or performing other activities. It answers commonly asked questions such as:

  • Why does my dental implant hurt when I chew?
  • Can a tooth cause neck pain?
  • What can I do about dental implant pain? 

With the information below, you’ll be better equipped to determine whether your pain is a cause for concern or a normal and temporary response. 

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Why Does My Dental Implant Hurt When I Chew?

You might experience gum or jaw pain after implant surgery for many reasons. The following are some of them: 

1. Inadequate Osseointegration

Osseointegration refers to the process where the dental implants fuse into the jawbone. Implants need to be osseointegrated well in order to keep them strong and stable. Sometimes, the implant may not integrate well with the jawbone, causing discomfort or pain when chewing.

Possible causes of poor osseointegration include:

  • Patient health conditions: Some medical conditions, like uncontrolled gum disease and diabetes, can prevent bone from healing properly and integrating the implants. 
  • Smoking: Smoking can significantly reduce blood flow to the jaw and gums, which can slow down or prevent healing.
  • Surgical technique: Improper surgical technique can compromise osseointegration.

2. Loose Implants

If the implant becomes loose, it may lead to pain and discomfort during chewing, particularly if you bite down too hard on the affected area.

3. Overloading

Applying excessive pressure on the newly installed dental implant before properly integrating with the jawbone can cause pain during chewing.

4. Infection or Inflammation

Peri-implantitis is when the tissues surrounding implants are infected and inflamed. It can result in pain while chewing.  

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Solutions for Implant Pain During Chewing

Now that you know the possible causes of experiencing pain associated with your dental implant when chewing, consider following these steps:

1. Consult Your Dentist: If you experience dental implant pain while chewing, book a consultation with your dentist as soon as possible for a diagnosis and a tailored treatment plan.

2. Schedule Regular Dental Check-ups: Schedule periodic visits to your dentist so they can monitor the condition of your dental implant.

3. Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene: Good oral hygiene practices help you avoid infections and inflammation around the implant area.

4. Manage Pressure: Be gentle with your dental implant, and avoid applying excessive pressure while chewing, particularly during the initial stages of the implant installation.

Can a Tooth Cause Neck Pain?

Possible Causes of Neck Pain With Dental Implants

It may appear puzzling when experiencing both pain around your dental implants and neck pain at the same time. The question arises: can a tooth or dental implant cause neck pain? The simple answer is yes, and understanding the connection between these two ailments is essential to finding the appropriate treatment options.

The following are some ways dental implants can be connected to neck pain:

Referred Pain

When the tissues around an implant become infected or inflamed, the nerves surrounding it might transmit pain signals to the surrounding areas, including the neck. Referred pain might cause you to think the problem lies solely in the neck, whereas the root cause might be the dental implant.

Muscle Strain

Pain around the implant or another dental issue might cause a person to alter their bite, leading to muscle strain and discomfort in the neck area. Additionally, if you experience neck pain after dental work, it could be from being in an unnatural position on the dentist’s chair for long periods. 

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ)

TMJ disorders are conditions that impact the jaw joint, the chewing muscles and the tissues surrounding them. Pain from a TMJ can sometimes be confused with pain caused by dental implants–both TMJ disorders and dental implant issues can cause pain in the jaw, face, and even headaches.

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Prevention and Treatment: Addressing the Root Cause

Visiting a dentist for a thorough examination is crucial to identify the underlying issue causing your jaw or neck pain. Your dentist will determine whether an issue with your dental implants is causing your symptoms or if you need to be referred to another type of medical professional, such as an orthopedist or a neurologist.

If the cause of the pain is found to be related to your dental implants, your dentist will prescribe an appropriate treatment plan. It may include medications, like antibiotics for infection and pain relievers, as well as dental procedures to address implant issues that may be causing the pain, such as peri-implantitis, a loose implant or a fractured implant. 

Get Proper Diagnosis and Care for Dental Implant Pain

Dental implant pain during chewing and related issues in the neck and jaw can be managed effectively through proper diagnosis, treatment and preventive measures. If you suspect your pain may be related to your dental implants, it’s essential to contact a trusted dentist for appropriate evaluation and treatment.

Experiencing discomfort after dental work? Don’t let pain hold you back. Reach out to Archpoint Implant Dentistry for expert care and solutions tailored to your needs. We are a trusted practice focusing on implant surgery with locations in Fort Worth, Dallas and Southlake. Learn more about our work by reading our patients’ success stories, or contact us directly to book a free initial consultation.