Missing Molars Make Your Cheeks Sag? Lift Them With Dental Implants

Posted on: 3 March 2015

If your cheeks sag because you lost one or more molars, give them a lift with dental implants. Missing teeth anywhere in your mouth may make your face's skin look saggy or loose over time. Your teeth strengthen your jawbones and the muscles that cover them. Without your teeth, your muscles age faster. Here's how you tone and sculpt your facial profile with dental implants.

What Happens to Your Cheeks When You Lose Molars?

Your jawbones are two of the largest bones in your face. They rely on different muscles to hold them in place, as well as to open and close your mouth when you speak or eat. Your jaws also depend on your teeth to keep them in shape throughout your lifetime. They give your face its distinct profile.

You may not think about it at the time, but losing a molar or two weakens your jaws and facial muscles until they no longer have the flexibility, structure or strength to support your cheekbones. One of the first problems you might notice about your face is sagging cheeks.

Molars are very large teeth that take up room in your mouth. They keep the area between your cheekbones and jawbones from sinking in when you don't smile. After you lose a molar, the skin in this area becomes loose. The muscle tissues over your jawbones and cheekbones slack up as well, which makes your cheek area look hollow.

Dental implants are titanium roots that restructure your jawbones and cheeks. They play an important role in improving your entire face.

How Long Does It Take for Your Implants to Work?

A qualified dentist places one or more dental implants inside the tooth sockets of your missing molars. The implants take up to three months to bond with your jawbones. During this time, your jawbones regrow new bone tissue to help fill out your loose cheeks.

After the implants and bone form a strong bond, the dentist covers the tops of the implants with false crowns. The crowns protect your tender gums and bones from infection and inflammation. This step usually takes another six months to complete.

How Do Dental Implants Make Your Cheeks and Jaws Appear?

Although the most noticeable changes in your cheeks and jaws occur after you've had your implants for a year or more, you may see small changes right away. For instance, you may notice that your:

  • Cheekbones look slightly higher than before you received your implants
  • Facial skin looks toner, tighter and fuller  
  • Jawline appears sharper

All of these small changes may occur after the dental implants create new bone tissue growth in your jawbones. Additionally, the crowns over your implant posts fill out the hollows in your cheeks.

What Can You Do to Maintain Your New Look After Surgery?

Once your dental implant treatment ends, you need to practice good oral hygiene to keep them healthy. Your dentist may suggest that you visit him or her more often than usual to ensure that you don't have any complications, such as gum disease, with your implants. Bacteria can turn into plaque around your implants and gumline if you don't clean your mouth regularly.

You can also choose a healthy diet of calcium-rich foods to ward off poor bone growth in your jaws. For example, add a side of low-fat yogurt and cottage cheese to your meals. Kale and other leafy green vegetables make great choices because they contain calcium and other nutrients that strengthen bone tissues.

Investing in an electric water flosser is ideal for your oral care. The flosser sends a stream of water between each implant-covered tooth and beneath your gumline to remove plaque. If you need help finding the right dental tools for your oral care, ask your dentist for referrals to any merchants that offer the products you need.

Improving your appearance after tooth loss is a big undertaking. But with the right dental treatments, you can achieve your goals. If you're ready to lift your loose cheeks, speak to a dentist today.