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Can Wisdom Teeth Surgery Cause a Thinning of the Face?

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Is it possible for the face and jaw to narrow after wisdom teeth removal?

by Dr. Burhenne

Can wisdom teeth surgery cause a narrowing of the face?
Q:

I had my wisdom teeth removed six months ago at the age of 21. My appearance seems to have changed. My jaw seems narrower and seems to sit a little higher on my face. Is this possible.

A: Myself, as well as many others, have experienced this change in appearance after having wisdom teeth removed.

I inform my patients of this fact as I consider it to be part of informed consent. Informed consent is required to be given by a healthcare practitioner to the patient before any procedure is agreed upon so that the patient knows exactly what to expect.

Of course, before wisdom teeth surgery, we mention the obvious risks like infection, nerve damage, and broken jaw, but I feel it’s important to inform a patient that there is a change in appearance as well. The good news is that it’s usually something patients find to be an improvement.

Many people will find that their jaw structure and facial features are more defined after wisdom teeth surgery. In fact, many professional models have their wisdom teeth removed to give them the look of having higher cheekbones. The danger here, of course, is that people have teeth taken out for aesthetics reasons, and not health reasons. Of course, I do not recommend this.

Blog Notes:  About Mark Burhenne DDS

Welcome! My name is Dr. Mark Burhenne, or Dr. B for short. When did we start seeing the mouth as separate from the rest of the human body?

The mouth doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It is intimately connected to the health of the rest of the body.

In fact, the bacteria and entire environment inside the mouth are connected to the rest of your body so intimately that the state of your oral health can predict whether you’ll have heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.

In my 30 years of practice as a dentist, I’ve seen a lot of misinformation and people who have fallen through the cracks due to our healthcare system’s failure to understand the oral-body connection.

I created this blog to empower people to understand how your mouth is a window into the health of the rest of your body.

It is my sincere hope that the knowledge and tools on this blog will lead to greater health and well-being for you and those you love.

Throughout this website you’ll find high-quality articles and free resources for getting and staying healthy. It’s the info I use to keep myself and my family healthy, and how I treat my patients.

I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a B.S. in Biochemistry and B.A. in History of Art and had the privilege of attending the University of the Pacific Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, consistently ranked among the best in the US.

I am an active member of several continuing education groups and study clubs in prosthetics and periodontology that perform actual clinical work on patients. I have worked as an expert witness in legal dental cases. I’ve also volunteered as a dental surgeon in Jos, Nigeria.

I raised three daughters without cavities (all without ingestion of fluoride). I enjoy downhill skiing, alpine touring, mountain biking, photography, and listening to jazz and classical records (you know, those flat analog 12-inch vinyl discs).

I am passionate about restoring teeth to their original function and beauty – and as someone who studied art history and is a hobbyist photographer, the intersection of art and the opportunity to help people makes dentistry my dream profession.

I welcome your comments and questions and encourage you to like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter to get the latest on oral and dental health.

Mark Burhenne DDS

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Dr. Mark Burhenne DDS

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