The Surprising Thing That Changes Your Face

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You probably haven’t noticed it, but your teeth are shifting. And, besides forcing teeth out of their proper alignment and space, shifting can cause your smile, and even your face, to look totally different. Here’s why:

The Teeth Look Short
As teeth move, less of your top teeth show when you smile and more of your bottom teeth become exposed, giving the look of short teeth. “We see more imperfections on the lower teeth because those teeth are smaller and more visible during speaking. They are also easily moved from clenching and grinding,” says Sarasota FL, cosmetic dentist Jenifer C. Back, DMD. Short teeth can also create the look of asymmetry because the proportional distance between the tip of the nose and the chin will appear to be out of balance.

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The Face Looks Sunken and Hollow
It may sound like a stretch to think that your teeth can negatively affect your face to such a degree that it looks sunken and collapsed, but unfortunately, it’s true. Once teeth start to move, they have less support internally due to a decrease in bone mass, tooth wear and aging of the face itself. As the face ages, the lower jaw loses definition. While this is partially due to changes in the underlying structure of the face, New York cosmetic dentist Irwin Smigel, DDS says that a collapsing bite will cause the jaw to move forward. “The upper teeth won’t show as much and the distance between the nose and chin will get shorter, making the face look older.”

The Teeth Have Spaces
Teeth have definitive shapes and are proportionate to one another, explains Atlanta cosmetic dentist Ronald Goldstein, DDS. But, when they shift, spaces can form, which can alter the smile in a negative way. Spaces between the teeth can also make the overall smile seem crooked and gappy.

The Smile Looks Worn
The more the teeth start to push forward, the more they begin to look worn and rough. Clenching and grinding can also cause teeth to look worn down. “Shifting teeth can also change the look of the smile overall, but it depends on which teeth are involved,” says Dr. Smigel. “If the front teeth have shifted, then the midline will be off and the teeth will look off-center or crowded and protruded.”

What to Do
Good news: It’s never too late to prevent shifting teeth from getting worse. Discuss your concerns with a cosmetic dentist to create the best plan of action for you. 

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