Dental Tips Blog


How Dentures Affect the Shape of Your Smile – for Better and for Worse

Posted in Dentures

Dentures are a common and affordable option for improving your smile’s function and appearance. But what kind of effect they have on your overall facial profile depends on their design and how well they fit.

How Dentures Improve Your Smile

Roots keep your teeth in place. They also stimulate bone health in the jaw. As long as you have teeth in place, the shape of your mouth will stay about the same.

When you lose teeth, your jaw loses valuable support. The bone resorbs and disappears, and your mouth can take on a sunken or caved-in look.

If this has happened to you, then a denture can help restore some of your smile’s original height.

Dentures Can Wear Down Your Jaw

Dentures rest directly on the gums for support. This means that they put pressure on the bone directly and can wear it down over time.

While a denture can keep your smile from looking caved-in, it doesn’t encourage new bone growth. After years of using a denture, your mouth will slowly wear down to the point that you need to be re-fitted.

If your denture doesn’t fit properly, then this bone wear can happen even faster and result in abnormal bone loss.

A bad bite with dentures can lead to problems like:

  • Gum sores
  • Sagging lips
  • Wrinkles around the mouth and neck
  • Saliva and food leaking out of the corners of the mouth
  • Sores and infections
  • Difficulty eating
  • Embarrassment

A well-fitted denture is the key to maintaining a youthful and natural-looking smile. Even better is one that’s supported by implants that act just like tooth roots. Talk with your dentist about denture options to save the shape of your smile.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Smiles Dentistry
2655 Dallas Highway Suite 510
Marietta, GA 30064


Dentures and Bone Loss

Even though tooth loss is almost entirely preventable, there is a surprisingly high rate of tooth loss in the United States.  About 25% of Americans over the age of 65 are missing all of their natural teeth.  There are many causes of tooth loss including accidents, injuries, and cancer, but the primary cause of tooth loss is gum disease and poor oral health habits.

The implications of tooth loss are far more than just missing teeth.   Once a natural tooth is lost, bone loss in the jaw begins.  The natural chewing action stimulates bone growth in the jaw and when teeth are missing, this stimulation and bone growth ceases.

Dentures are the most common tooth replacement option, especially for older Americans but dentures do not stimulate bone growth.  In fact, the pressure on the gums from dentures increases bone loss, a problem that is made worse when dentures are worn day and night.

As bone loss continues, the person’s jaw shrinks and their face begins to collapse.  Dentures can replace the missing teeth, but cannot halt the progress of the shrinking jawbone.  Dentures need to fit tightly to minimize problems with eating and speaking, but as the bone shrinks the dentures will loosen and need to be adjusted.  As time goes on, the problem gets worse and more frequent adjustments are necessary to maintain a good fit.

Dental implants are a better solution for missing teeth because  a dental implant takes the place of the tooth’s root.  When an artificial tooth or a denture is attached to the dental implants, the chewing action stimulates bone growth just like natural teeth and prevents bone loss.

If you have dentures and are concerned about bone loss talk to your dentist about dental implants.

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