Are your teeth starting to disappear? Have you noticed new wrinkles, or does your chin look like it’s starting to disappear? Maybe you’re just imagining these unflattering developments that make you look older than you actually are -- but the truth is, if you are over the age of 40, chances are good you actually are experiencing what we call facial collapse. It is a real condition that many people start to notice around middle age. And if you are missing all of your teeth, the effect happens even more rapidly. Dr. Morgan can help with facial collapse.
What Causes Facial Collapse?
Several factors can cause facial collapse, the most significant of which is the simple passage of time. Starting at age 40, your upper lip drops down by about one millimeter each decade. That means that by age 70, your lip has dropped around three millimeters. It may not sound significant, but you’ll really notice a difference.
Tooth grinding, the condition known as bruxism, also wears down the teeth and makes them look shorter. That puts the lower teeth closer to the nose, a factor that really ages your smile. Ever seen someone without their dentures? Facial collapse causes this on a smaller scale, evidenced by wrinkles in the corners of the mouth, loss of lip support, and overall shortening of the face to give an "aged" appearance.
Acid reflux and an acidic diet erodes otherwise healthy tooth enamel, and tooth loss can also lead to facial collapse. When someone loses their back teeth it will give a "sunken in" appearance to their cheeks.
And with fewer teeth, each tooth that remains in your jaw receives more force. Want to understand how that works? Imagine the Dallas Cowboys offensive line. Now take out two of the lineman -- suddenly the running backs and quarterback to have to do some of the blocking. But Tony Romo wasn’t made to block! Before you know it, he’s injured, and your whole team is weaker because of it.
See how the front teeth are like little Tony Romos? When you take out your back teeth (your lineman), you expose those in the front to forces they were just not built to withstand. This leads to faster tooth wear and eventual tooth loss, which makes you look older and puts you on the path to needing full dentures.
How Does Dr. Morgan Fix Facial Collapse?
The most important thing when restoring facial collapse is to properly position the edges of the front two upper teeth. Dr. Morgan will add composite material to the teeth until they are visible when lips are at rest. After taking careful measurements and sending them to our lab, a fixed orthotic is created. Once it’s ready, you can test drive your new smile for a couple of months before doing the restorative work.
Depending on the specifics of the case, Dr. Morgan will place crowns on one or both arches. We use a lab that has significant experience in orthotics, guaranteeing the prosthetic will look, fit, and feel just like it should. And because crowns are highly customizable, you can choose the shape and shade of your new teeth to get bright, youthful smile you have dreamed of.
The results? Fabulous. Some patients have even said they feel like they’ve gotten a facelift after visiting Dr. Morgan for facial collapse!
Schedule a Consultation Today!
If you are past your mid-40s and feel like your face looks droopy or saggy, it’s probably not just in your imagination. Contact our office to discuss treatments for facial collapse! Dr. Morgan can help you turn back the clock on your smile. Request an appointment today!