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Tooth Loss May Change Your Facial Structure, What Can You Do?

July 28, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — tntadmin @ 4:37 pm
A woman having her face examined by a dentist for structural issues due to tooth loss

Missing teeth have an impact on self-esteem and confidence for sure, but did you know they could also change the shape of your face? It’s not a process that happens overnight, but the structure of your face can change gradually after tooth loss, especially if you’ve lost more than one tooth and haven’t had them replaced with dental implants.

So how does this happen? Is the damage permanent? Can you prevent it? Continue reading and find out how this process happens, what happens to your face as a result, and what you can do to stop it.

The Shape of Bone

Bone plays a large role in determining the shape of your face. It is, after all, the frame for your muscles, fat, and skin to attach to. You may gain or lose weight, but your bone structure stays consistent. Your teeth actually strengthen the bone in your jaw every time you chew.

After losing a tooth, the bone around the area begins to degrade naturally without the stimulating effect of chewing to keep it strong. If you lose one or more teeth in one area, this can cause a more dramatic loss of bone mass, leading to a more hollow-looking facial structure.

Wrinkles, Folds, and Lips

Loss of bone density can affect multiple aspects of your face once it progresses far enough. For example, without proper support from your jaw, your mouth can droop—giving you a more sour or grumpy look. As your facial angles change due to bone loss, you may begin to form more wrinkles, making you appear older.

Eventually, the loss of your bone structure will cause shortening in your face, pointing of your chin, or sagging of the cheeks because your face muscles have less to hold on to. Dentists refer to this as “facial collapse.” When this process is complete, the space between your nose and chin decreases, and the lower part of your face partially collapses. This can make your entire face shorter in appearance.

How Can I Prevent This?

If you have even one missing tooth, your jaw has already begun to degrade in that area, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Some replacement options like dentures and bridges can fill the gap left by a missing tooth, but only dental implants can prevent the loss of bone by offering the same stimulation that a regular tooth would since the implant is embedded into your jawbone.

Now that you know what can happen due to missing teeth, and what you can do to prevent it, you can create a treatment plan with your dentist and preserve your face and your smile for years to come!

About the Author

Dr. Ali Albeer is well-known for his caring and expert approach to getting results with all his patients.  He is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry which requires continued education beyond the years of study he’s already had in the field of Prosthodontics. Very few dentists have reached the degree of skill Dr. Albeer has. For more information on the treatments and procedures available at Rosemead Dental, visit their website here, or call (972) 499-6835 to schedule an appointment.

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