Here's Why Your Face Still Looks Different Even After Getting Dentures
If you've had missing teeth for a while, it might surprise you to feel like your face looks different than it used to after you get dentures. Many people think that having their teeth back will make them look the way that they did before losing their teeth, but dentures can't change everything. Here's why your face looks a little different.
Dentures Restore *Some* Function
Dentures are very effective at imitating real teeth when it comes to what's going on above your gums. Dentures do a good job of chewing up and grinding food like real teeth. However, they sit on top of your gums and don't go beyond that.
The problem with this is that real teeth exist both above and below the gumline. Dentures can't imitate everything that a real tooth does. While having dentures in place may help your jaw to rest in the same position that it once did, versus having no teeth and a sunken-closed mouth appearance due to it, they're not completely identical.
Beneath the Surface
Chances are if you've been missing your teeth for a while, you've had some changes that have occurred beneath the surface of the gums.
Real teeth perform a biofeedback task everyday when you chew, bite, and grind your teeth together. The stimulation at the surface of the teeth extends down into the roots, where it stimulates your jawbone to grow thicker and stronger. When a tooth is lost, this functionality is also mostly lost. While dentures are great for being able to chew and smile normally again, as they're only sitting on the surface of your gums, they can't restore this functionality and likely won't be able to regenerate any lost bone cells.
What Can Be Done
While dentures don't properly mimic the full functionality of real teeth, that doesn't meant that are aren't any tooth replacement options that do.
Dental implants are designed to mimic real teeth in every way. They look and feel like real teeth, and their strong supporting implant is like an artificial tooth root. Pressure at the top of the tooth extends past the gums and into the inner jaw, where your chewing will help to encourage healthy bone cells to start developing. As a result, some people can expect to see a more prominent jawline after a while and may better recognize themselves after this happens.
Losing healthy bone is a serious problem, especially in older age. If you want to do what you can to protect your jawbones and to maintain your appearance, talk to a dentist about getting dental implants.