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Why Cheeks Sink in When People Have Dentures

Posted on 3/13/2017 by Dr. Hallas
A pair of dentures floating inside of a glass jar.
Dentures have long been the solution to tooth loss. These removable, prosthetic dental appliances are lab created from molds of your mouth. When they fit properly, they restore your ability to eat your favorite foods and to be understood when you speak. However, dentures do have some downsides, one of which is that they can make your cheeks sink in.

Natural Jaw Reabsorption

When you lose your teeth, your jaw naturally begins to deteriorate. This is because you are now lacking the roots of your teeth in the bone. Without those roots stimulating your jaw, your body begins to send essential nutrients the jaw needs to stay strong to other parts of your body, thinking that area no longer requires them. Over time, your jaw weakens and changes shape, which starts the process of your cheeks sinking in.

How Do Dentures Contribute?

Dentures can’t stop this reabsorption from occurring. In fact, dentures can actually speed the process up, especially if they are ill-fitting. Poorly fitting dentures put pressure not only on your gums, but on the boy ridge underneath. This pressure and rubbing irritates the gums and the bone, accelerating the process of bone loss. When your cheeks sink in, you can start to appear aged, much older than your true age, and it can make you look malnourished.

Other Changes
Your cheeks aren’t the only part of your face that is affected. Depending upon the fit of your dentures, your lips can either sag inward, creating a hollow appearance, or they can push your lips outward, making them look puffy. As your jawbone reabsorbs, dentures can also cause your chin to sag too.

What Can You Do?
While dentures can’t stop the reabsorption of your jawbone, they don’t have to give you a sunken appearance. There are dentures available that provide a better fit, look more natural, and fill out your face, eliminating the sunken appearance you have once suffered.

If you are unhappy with the appearance your dentures have given you, contact our office today to schedule a consultation and discuss what other denture options can help.

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