How to Stop Facial Collapse Following Tooth Loss

The reason why restorative and oral surgery procedures are often necessary is because, in most cases, damage to your teeth and oral structures is permanent. Sometimes, the effects of an issue can continue long after you’ve treated it. For instance, tooth loss can affect the health of your jawbone and remaining teeth even if you replace them with a dental bridge or denture. The loss of the roots, which once rested in your jawbone, can lead to a condition known as facial collapse, wherein your jawbone loses density and shrinks, causing the structures around your smile to “sink.”

Tooth Loss and Facial Collapse

Every time you bite and chew your food, the pressure stimulates your teeth’s roots within your jawbone. The stimulation promotes a healthy flow of nutrient-rich blood, which in turn keeps your jawbone strong and healthy enough to support and sustain your teeth with minerals and nutrients.  When you lose a tooth root, and therefore its stimulation, your jawbone receives fewer nutrients, and the bone surrounding the empty root socket is eventually reabsorbed. Over the years, the gradual jawbone deterioration will begin to show in your facial features as they also lose support, leading to the shrunken-jaw appearance of facial collapse.

How to Preserve Your Jawbone’s Strength

While conventional replacement teeth can restore your ability to bite and chew, dental bridges, partials, and complete dentures cannot restore the functions of your lost teeth roots. To reestablish this support, and prevent eventual facial collapse, we may recommend supporting your replacement teeth on one or a series of dental implants. Made from biocompatible titanium, dental implants are small root-like posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where your teeth’s roots once were. After your jawbone heals, we can utilize the implanted posts to anchor a dental crown, a partial denture, or a complete denture, according to how many teeth you’ve lost.


Dr. Shawn Hofkes and the staff at Cerritos Dental Surgery are highly qualified to address complex issues, including those that require oral surgery to correct. To schedule an appointment or consultation with Dr. Hofkes, contact us today by calling 562-584-4082. We proudly serve patients of all ages from Cerritos, Lakewood, Long Beach, Buena Park, and all surrounding communities.