Facial Collapse and the Jaw

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Facial Collapse after Tooth Loss:

Facial collapse is when the jaw bone begins to shrink after a tooth is lost. Chewing forces are transmitted down teeth into the bone. The chewing forces stimulate and preserve bone levels. When teeth are missing the bone is no longer need to support the teeth. Therefore, the bone will start to disappear.

This disappearing jaw bone makes the jaw less stable over time. This causes a sunken, collapsed, and premature elderly appearance. The teeth and bone are important to support normal facial contours. When the teeth and bone are lost, the face collapses inwards and this creates wrinkles and an aged appearance.

Bone loss happens after tooth loss.


Why facial collapse happens:

The reason for facial collapse is the loss of teeth. When teeth are lost there is no need for the bone to stay around and support the teeth. The body thinks there is no longer a need for the bone and the bone will start to melt away. Patients with multiple missing teeth seem to have a “shriveled’ facial appearance.

Patients who have lost all their teeth may decide to get old fashioned dentures. However, this outdated treatment option actually accelerates the bone resorption. Multiple dentures will have to be made as the bone and gum tissue disappears. Each denture will fit more poorly than previous set. Soon the dentures can become very uncomfortable or even painful.

Ways to prevent facial collapse:

Whether you have one or all your teeth extracted the ONLY way to prevent bone loss is with dental implants. Dental implants transmit the forces of chewing to the bone (just like natural teeth do). In fact, dental implants are the only dental treatment that preserves bone levels.

More information about Dental Implants:

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Dental Implant Dentures Pasadena, Deer Park Texas


Tooth loss will have an impact on the health of your jawbone and remaining teeth even if you replace them with a dental bridge or denture. That is because a bridge or denture do nothing to preserve the jaw bone.  The loss of the roots that originally rested in your jawbone will cause facial collapse, a condition in which your jawbone loses density and shrinks, causing the structures around your smile to “sink.”


When you bite and chew your meal, the pressure stimulates the roots of your teeth within your jawbone. The stimulation encourages a healthy flow of nutrient-rich blood, which keeps your jawbone strong and healthy. When a tooth root, and thus its stimulation, is lost, your jawbone receives fewer nutrients, and the bone surrounding the empty root socket gradually resorbs. Over time, the slow degradation of your jawbone will begin to show in your facial features as they lose support, resulting in the shrunken-jaw appearance of facial collapse.


While traditional replacement teeth can restore your ability to bite and chew, dental bridges, partials, and full dentures cannot replace the functions of your missing teeth roots. Dental implant will stimulate the jaw bone because they are anchored into the jawbone.  Dental implants are little root-like posts made of biocompatible titanium that are surgically implanted into the jawbone where your teeth’s roots once were. After your jawbone has healed, we can use the implanted posts to secure a dental crown, partial denture, or full denture, depending on how many teeth you’ve lost.

Dr. Nugent is a front runner in dental implant therapy. Patients from Pasadena, Deer Park, La Porte, League City, Clear Lake, Friendswood and Houston Texas travel to see Dr. Nugent for their dental implants. Did you know Dr. Nugent has been voted Pasadena Texas Best Dentist multiple times? See why Dr. Nugent is known as “THE PASADENA TEXAS DENTIST”. Visit us at 3421 Burke Rd Ste A, Pasadena, Texas 77504. Or call us at 713-941-8261.

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