Properly designed dentures can dramatically rejuvenate your appearance by fully replacing everything that was lost.
A Natural Cycle
Next time you’re on social media, look closely at those baby pictures people are sharing. Or pull out pictures of your own kids or grandkids. Look at their faces and you’ll be reminded of the resemblance between the faces of babies and seniors. Both have jowls and excess skin in the neck. Babies’ faces can be as wrinkly and folded as seniors’ faces. Why is that?
It’s because babies don’t have teeth, and their jawbones are poorly developed. As a result, they have excess skin that hangs, bunches, and folds on their face. As they grow up and get teeth, their jaws develop to hold and support those teeth. This fills out their face, and reaches its peak during young adulthood, when teeth and jaws are robust and strong.
But as we get older, our body naturally removes bone from our jaws and our teeth get worn down. As a result, the balance gets upset. We have too much skin for the amount of bone and teeth, which causes our skin to sag and fold. This speeds up when we start losing teeth and our body removes the bone that used to support them.
Scientists call this the “concertina effect,” the way that the volume of our bones and teeth can cause our skin to stretch or fold.
How Bone Loss Affects Your Appearance
So what is the impact of bone loss on your facial appearance? Initially, we may notice sagging and folding around the mouth and a little under the chin.
As the jaw moves up, jowls appear because the fat pads of the cheek now hang down below the level of the jaw, and the skin that used to cover the fullness of your chin and jawbones now hangs down.
As the jaw continues to shrink, the amount of “excess” skin increases, resulting in a sunken appearance around the mouth as the skin folds inward.
The First Plastic Surgeons Were Dentists
It’s a little-known fact that the first plastic surgery organization in the US was the American Association of Oral Surgeons, founded in 1921, which understood that dealing with facial aging required a detailed understanding of not just the soft tissues, but also the bones and teeth that support them. The American Association of Oral Surgeons (AAOS) required that all members have degrees both as medical doctors and as dentists. The current organization of plastic surgeons, the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, renamed as the American Association of Plastic Surgeons in 1999, was founded by two doctors who were not accepted as members of the AAOS. Partly as a result of this, plastic surgeons have always underestimated the impact of bones and teeth on the changes that occur as we get older.
But if you want to achieve a natural youthful appearance that reflects how you truly looked when younger, it’s crucial that you understand this relation and work to replace the losses of bone and teeth, which can be done using dental implants with varying denture implant options or Denture Fountain of Youth®.