Dentures can definitely change the shape of your face. When you get new dentures, you might notice that your entire facial appearance changes. This is common, but it’s not always good. But if you’ve been missing teeth or dealing with bad, ill-fitting dentures, the change may be for the better. A well-designed, custom set of dentures will restore your face to its proper proportions, providing you with a more youthful appearance.
Many people will put their new dentures in and notice that they now have a sagging face. This is especially true if you are getting your first set of dentures replacing your natural teeth. Most dentures, especially economy dentures, don’t adequately replace the lost height of your natural teeth.
This means that you now have a smaller face than you used to have, but the same amount of skin, fat, and other tissues, which now sag and hang down.
Puffy Lips and Cheeks
In some cases, your dentures may be too big. They can be too wide and make your mouth look bulky. For most people, dentures will feel big, but it’s only on rare occasions that they look too big, though it does happen.
You can also get puffy lips and cheeks if your dentures don’t fit together properly. If you have a bad bite because of your dentures, it can push your jaw forward or to the side, causing your jaw to look out of place and your cheeks and lips will look puffy.
Tissues that don’t sag downward will fold inward when there’s too much of it, including your lips, which will tend to sink in, giving your face a hollow appearance. Sometimes, your lips may not even close properly, causing leakage at the corners, leading to cheilitis. And, no, facial exercises won’t prevent this.
Sagging chin, also called witch’s chin, is caused by changes in the jawbone due to wearing dentures. As the jawbone loses volume, the muscle attachments of the jaw change, resulting in less bulk in the chin area, and more sagging.
Dentures that are not fitted properly can cause your jaw to tilt to one side, called a cant. Initially, this can’t be noticeable, but it’s not just a visible problem. It’s related to the forces of chewing, so as your dentures wear down, the tilt will become even more noticeable.
But the changes in your appearance don’t have to be bad. Dentures can make a positive change in your appearance, too. Where you used to have sagging or folding tissues, properly fitting dentures can provide adequate support to your jaw, cheek, and gums. Properly proportioned dentures can take two decades or more off your appearance.
The Importance of Denture Fittings
Oftentimes, denture patients are able to do a try-on before their dentures are finished. This allows them to see what their smile will look like and allows them to make changes before the final dentures are complete. Communication with your dentist is essential when it comes to getting exactly what you want in a denture. They’ll work with you in creating a custom-made denture that matches your mouth and face.