Getting dentures can often make your face look different. Sometimes this is for the better, while other times it's for the worse. If you find that you don't like the appearance of your face after getting dentures, there are three ways you can make it more attractive, depending on the cause.

This article will discuss the common denture problems that negatively impact your facial shape and how to address them.

How may dentures change your face?

Full upper and lower dentures

Picture by Authority Dental under CC 2.0 license

The reason dentures often change the shape of your face is that after having teeth extracted, the bone remodels and resorbs. This happens in every case, unless you place dental implants to prevent the bone resorption. Everyone experiences the change at different paces, so you may not notice a change until you're had dentures for a few years.

Let's look at three things you will eventually start to notice.

Sagging chin

A sagging chin is also referred to as a witch's chin since it has a drooping appearance. It is caused the resorption of the jaw bone due to wearing traditional dentures. Along with bone resorption, the muscle attachments also change, which results in a less bulky appearance of the chin and more sagging.

Monkey mouth

If your dentures are too big, you'll notice that your lips and cheeks will protrude and give your face a monkey-like appearance. It's normal for dentures to feel big at first, but they should not look big. Similar to when you receive local anesthetic - your face feels big, but it's not.

The dentures might also look big because they're not properly aligned and the bite is not the way it should be. If you have to shift your jaw to get your denture teeth to come together, it will make the denture look larger.

Sunken lips and cheeks

Similar to the sagging chin issue, your lips and cheeks can undergo this same problem. Once the muscles and tissues begin to sag, it will result in sunken appearance of the lips and cheeks.

Patients experiencing this will have a hollow facial structure. In moderate to severe cases, the lips may no longer close properly which eventually results in cheilitis from the saliva pooling in the corners of the mouth.

How to improve your appearance with dentures?

Inserting full denture into the mouth

Picture by Authority Dental under CC 2.0 license

Now that you know why your face shape might change, let's talk about how you can prevent or fix the problem. You may need to use multiple techniques to get the result you want.

Use soft liners

The biggest problem with dentures is that they do not fully replace the level of bone you had before. Essentially, you simply have a smaller face once you get dentures.

To help alleviate that, you can place soft liners in your dentures to restore some of the height. You can either do this by placing over-the-counter strips in your denture, which also double denture adhesives, or you can ask your dentist to place a soft liner.

The soft liner should last for several months and is a better solution. It will likely not restore all the bone height, but it will certainly help.

Visit specialist for adjustments

If you feel like your denture is too big, it may just need to be adjusted. Your dentist will be able to remove the acrylic in some areas to make the denture smaller and feel less bulky. If the denture is not aligning properly with the opposing arch, they'll need to adjust the bite as well.

Consider other denture type

An ill-fitting denture may also be caused by cheaper appliances. Economy dentures are more affordable, but do not give the natural appearance as quality dentures would. They'll be more noticeable and less comfortable than more expensive options.

You may also want to consider implant-supported dentures. Using dental implants will allow you to have a smaller denture, which can solve many problems. Plus, the implants will help retain the bone and you'll have less bone loss over time.

FAQ

Why do my dentures make me look like a horse?

Dentures that are too big can cause your lips to protrude. In addition, if the lip does not cover enough of the tooth, it can cause more of the denture to show and give the teeth a larger appearance.

Can you get a better face appearance with denture implants instead of traditional dentures?

In most cases, you'll get a better face appearance if you pair dental implants with dentures instead of having traditional dentures. Implant-retained dentures can be much smaller, which gives them a more natural appearance.

References

  1. Bone resorption: an actor of dental and periodontal development? - NCBI
  2. Cheilitis - NCBI