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Challenging Changes: How Gum Disease Impacts Your Facial Structure

December 11, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — spillmanfd @ 5:50 pm
Woman closing her eyes holding a picture of gum disease over her mouth

Did you know that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss worldwide? It’s an incredibly common disease that affects more than 47% of American Adults. On top of that, it’s possible to have it and be unaware because it doesn’t exhibit visible symptoms until it has progressed to more advanced stages. To add insult to injury, the consequences of gum disease can alter the structure of your face and lead to a more aged appearance. Keep reading to learn more about why this happens and what you can do to prevent it!

What is the Relationship Between Gum Disease and Tooth Loss?

Your gums are the foundation for your teeth. They hold them in place and deliver essential nutrients that benefit them as well as your jawbone. Healthy gums should be pink, firm, and have an even appearance.

As unhealthy bacteria penetrate under the gum line, you’ll develop an infection that weakens the gums and causes them to retract. They’ll pull away from your pearly whites, which can loosen them as well as expose the vulnerable roots which causes them to weaken and fall out.

How Does Tooth Loss Affect My Face?

Unfortunately, when you lose a tooth, you can also lose up to 25% of your jawbone ridge within the first year. The roots of your teeth deliver a healthy supply of nutrients to the underlying bone as it’s stimulated by biting and chewing. When one goes missing, your jawbone begins to decompose which can also result in additional tooth loss.

This can influence your facial structure in a few ways, such as:

  • Altered angles. As the jawbone is reduced, it shortens your face height which results in higher bite forces and more severe bone loss. This decreases the angle of your face near your lips and deepens vertical lines, like under the nose which can make it look larger.
  • Constant scowl. Alterations to your jaw impact your bite alignment which can decrease the angle at the corner of your lips which can make you look like you’re frowning when your face is relaxed.
  • Sagging skin. Bone loss affects the muscles of your lower jaw which causes skin to appear droopy.
  • Chin changes. As your cheeks appear more sunken, your chin becomes more prominent and sticks out further. Furthermore, as your bite alignment continues to deteriorate, your chin can rotate forward which makes you look more aged.

How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?

The best way to avoid gum disease to begin with is to regularly brush and floss your teeth twice every day. This ensures that you’re consistently removing any plaque buildup from on and around your teeth. Also, be sure to visit your dentist every 6 months for a professional cleaning and examination so they can spot signs of gum disease early enough to treat it.

Now that you know how to prevent facial changes from gum disease, you can keep your beautiful smile in place for years to come!

About the Practice

At Spillman Family Dental of Rockwall, you and your crew benefit from two dentists who work together to make a positive difference in your oral health. They work closely with patients to identify any areas of concern and provide the best possible treatments. With state-of-the-art technology like digital imaging onsite, you’re sure to get accurate and long-lasting results. If you’re worried about gum disease and would like to schedule an appointment, you’re welcome to request one on the website or by calling (972) 945-0887.

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