Can Wisdom Teeth Surgery Cause a Thinning of the Face?

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

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Hi, I’m Dr. B, practicing functional dentist for 35 years. I graduated from the Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, CA in 1987 and am a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), Academy of General Dentistry (Chicago, IL), American Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH), and Dental Board of California. I'm on a mission to empower people everywhere with the same evidence-based, easy-to-understand dental health advice that my patients get. Learn more about Dr. B
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.

You can request a bone graft during the extraction, but if you’re displeased with the look after your surgery is already complete, plastic surgery is the only option for correcting the change.

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.

Has this happened to you? Please get in touch. My goal is to document people’s experiences. Even better if you’re willing to share a before and after photo.

Mark Burhenne DDS

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