Can Missing Teeth Affect My Facial Structure

Dr. Firoz Lalani

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Firoz Lalani

Table of Contents

Millions of American adults are missing at least one tooth, and many of those are missing all of their natural teeth. This has a detrimental impact on a variety of areas, including facial structure.  

The good news is that there are options for restoring and protecting your facial shape at A Dental Care. Here’s what you need to know about how missing teeth impact facial structure and what you can do about it.

The Negative Impact of Missing Teeth

Teeth have an impact on your ability to chew and digest food, as well as your ability to speak clearly. Additionally, they support your natural facial structure and have an impact on your self-esteem.

Missing teeth can cause detrimental impacts to all of the above- which can cause you to have low self-esteem. This can lead to social isolation and a variety of other things. Even just a few missing teeth can cause these issues because the adjacent teeth will shift to fill in the gaps- which impacts facial structure.

What Effects Do Missing Teeth Have on Face Shape?

Missing teeth not only impact your ability to eat and speak but can have a detrimental impact on your appearance. Some of the most common impacts on face shape include:

Facial Angles

When teeth are missing, the jawbone will begin to deteriorate because it is not being used. This can cause facial angles to change.

Facial Wrinkles

Changes in facial angles can cause facial wrinkles because there is not enough jawbone structure to support the skin.

Bite Pattern

Missing teeth can cause changes in your bite pattern, which makes it difficult to eat certain foods.

Frown Appearance

Missing teeth can cause you to have a permanent frown because you don’t have the teeth and jawbone to support a smile.

Sagging Jowls

When you are missing teeth, your cheeks begin to sink in due to jawbone loss, which can create an appearance of sagging jowls.

Thinning Lips

Missing front teeth can make your lips appear thin.

Tooth Replacement Options

Missing teeth can significantly impact your appearance and facial shape. The good news is that there are several treatment options available to prevent jawbone deterioration and keep you looking healthy and vibrant following tooth loss. However, it is important to seek treatment right away to avoid the issues caused by missing teeth.

Popular treatment options include:

Dental Implants

Dental implants are the ideal tooth replacement option to avoid jawbone deterioration and other negative impacts. Implants are designed to replace the entire structure of the missing tooth, including the roots. A titanium post is inserted into the jawbone to stimulate the jawbone, keeping it healthy. A dental crown is attached to it to replace the visible portion of the tooth above the gumline.

Dental Bridges

Patients who are missing a single tooth between two decayed teeth or 2+ teeth in a row may consider a dental bridge. This option consists of two dental crowns with prosthetic teeth between. The crowns are attached to the adjacent natural teeth on either side of the gap.

While this option does not protect the jawbone from deterioration, it does keep adjacent teeth from shifting and prevents food from getting stuck in the gap.

Jawbone Graft

If the jawbone has already begun to deteriorate, jawbone grafting may save it. This procedure will strengthen the jaw by stimulating new bone growth. Often, this is a preliminary procedure for getting dental implants after teeth have been missing for some time. However, implants are not required- simply maintaining the jawbone itself can protect your facial shape.


Missing teeth can often lead to malocclusion, or bad bites. This happens when the adjacent teeth start to shift into the spaces left by missing teeth. Invisalign is a system of clear aligners designed to prevent this shifting or to move teeth back into their original position. It is important to note that Invisalign and other orthodontic options do not shift dental implants. Therefore, if you choose this option, it should be done prior to any other restorative procedures.

Missing Teeth FAQs

The team at A Dental Care understands that you may have questions about missing teeth and facial shape. We will be glad to discuss these with you. Below are some of the most common questions that we get on this topic.

Does missing teeth make your face asymmetrical?

Yes, missing teeth can cause your face to be asymmetrical due to changes in bone structure and alterations in muscle functioning.

Is facial collapse reversible?

The dental procedures mentioned above can help to reverse facial collapse. However, its best to have these done as quickly as possible following tooth loss to avoid the complications of missing teeth.

Can Botox fix facial collapse?

Botox is designed to fill wrinkles and can improve appearance. However, it is not designed to be used alone to fix facial collapse due to missing teeth- but can be used in conjunction with other treatments.

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