What Can Help Wrinkles Around The Mouth From Tooth To Gum Recession    

What Can Help Wrinkles Around The Mouth From Tooth To Gum Recession    

Wrinkles are a normal part of the aging process due to structural changes in the skin. However, these changes can look more pronounced around the mouth due to the loss of the teeth, gums and jawbone which helps support and give structure to the skin. 

Sadly these structures won’t grow back if they’ve already been lost. 

But there’s good news! 

The loss of these supporting structures and wrinkles around the mouth can be prevented or slowed with self-care treatments at home and they can be cosmetically restored with anti-aging treatments and dental facelifts. 

This post aims to explain how

  • the teeth, gums and jaw bone add structure to your face, fill out your cheeks and prevent wrinkles
  • you can prevent and control periodontal disease keeping you wrinkle-free for longer
  • dental treatments can help you replace lost gum, bone and teeth and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines around the mouth

What Makes Us Appear Older

Quite simply, the longer we’ve been alive the older we look. Many people often start wearing glasses and develop wrinkles around the mouth, eyes and other areas of the body.  For most people, wrinkles equal old age. 

What Causes Wrinkles? 

The natural aging process of the skin, jawbone and facial ligaments along with gum disease, genetics and lifestyle choices can all contribute to the formation of wrinkles around the mouth. 

Natural Aging Process Causes Wrinkles

As we age the skin naturally becomes drier and less elastic, this is the result of a decrease in proteins (collagen & elastin) and other components (glycosaminoglycans) that give the skin support, elasticity and hydration. The ligaments around the mouth and chin may also loosen, allowing fatty tissue in the cheeks to sag.  

Loss of Supporting Structures Exacerbates Wrinkles Around the Mouth

The gums, teeth and jaw bone all provide support to the skin around your mouth. When these structures are lost through aging or disease, the lips and cheeks around the mouth collapse. 

Without support, the skin is no longer stretched and it’s like there’s excess skin, and it wrinkles up. It can make naturally aged skin look even more wrinkled. The loss of supporting structures exacerbates the formation of wrinkles. 

Gum Disease Causes Wrinkles

Gum disease, or to give it its formal name periodontal disease is a common problem in society around the world. 50-90% of people over 30 have gingivitis (1) and the percentage of people with periodontal disease increases as the population increases. 

The root cause of periodontal diseases is not aging but plaque bacteria. Poor oral hygiene, smoking, uncontrolled diabetes and poor nutrition are major contributors to the build-up of plaque in the mouth. 

Bone Density & Wrinkles

Periodontal disease leads to the loss of bone density in the jaw which in turn leads to loose wobbly teeth, tooth loss and gum recession.  

Whilst it’s normal for there to be some bone loss after the age of 40 or 50 periodontal disease speeds up this process and the formation of wrinkles. 

Gum Recession & Wrinkles

Following bone loss, the gum tissue covering the supporting bones shrinks away with it. This gum recession causes the teeth to look longer, and sensitivity can occur. 

The lack of gum tissue, along with bone and any tooth loss leads to sagging cheeks and wrinkles as described above.

Vertical Dimension & Wrinkles

As we age, tooth enamel gets eroded, and the teeth become worn out. A systematic review in 2018 showed that 3% of 20-year-olds and 17% of 70-year-olds exhibited severe tooth wear (2).

There are several reasons the teeth are worn down over the years but they all lead to the enamel, the hard, outer layer of your teeth, being worn away. As the teeth become worn, it reduces the distance between the tip of the nose and the tip of the chin. The reduced distance leads to the wrinkling of skin around the mouth.

How To Reduce Wrinkles Around The Mouth Naturally

Many people ask what they can do about lines around the mouth and how they can get rid of them naturally.  Sadly, without anti-ageing dentistry (see below) it’s not possible to get rid of the wrinkles around your mouth. 

Unfortunately, aging of the skin and bone is inevitable, there’s no escaping it, but we can help reduce the speed at which it causes wrinkles around our mouth by maintaining the gums, bone and teeth – those structures that support the skin.

The best way to keep the gums, bone and teeth healthy and present for as long as possible is by preventing and controlling periodontal diseases. 

Preventing Periodontal Disease and Thus Wrinkles

The most important thing you can do in the prevention of wrinkles around your mouth is to prevent periodontal disease by developing oral hygiene which is first class and making a few simple lifestyle choices. 

Good Oral Hygiene

Developing and maintaining good oral hygiene is the best way to do this – brushing the teeth twice a day using the correct technique and carefully cleaning the interdental spaces daily with a Gum Pocket Brush is the most effective way to disrupt bacteria, and prevent periodontal disease and wrinkles. 

Good oral hygiene is essential in the effective disruption of dental plaque that triggers periodontal disease. 

Beat Gum Disease Now

Lifestyle Choices

Smoking and diet have a huge impact on our oral and general health. There are a few steps you can take that will help prevent periodontal disease and keep you wrinkle-free.

  • Quit smoking
  • Eat a nutrient-rich diet – low in sugar, saturated fats and high in micronutrients
  • Keep yourself hydrated by sipping water between meals
  • Have regular dental appointments to spot any oral issues before they turn into wrinkles
  • control blood sugars if you are diabetic 

Anti-Ageing Treatments For The Cheeks, Lips And Mouth

Dental treatments are available that can replace or enhance the structures in the mouth which support and give structure to the cheeks and thus can help reduce wrinkles. 

These treatments target yellow teeth and the problems caused by periodontal disease and our age such as 

  • Worn-down teeth – crowns or dental overlays can be used to build up your bite and increase the vertical dimension
  • Receding gumsgum grafts can be performed to replace lost gum tissue
  • Loss of bone mass – bone grafts can be used to replace lost bone
  • Missing teeth – dental implants can be used to replace missing teeth, which helps prevent further bone loss and wrinkles. Crowns and bridges can also be used if you are not a suitable candidate but further bone loss will not be prevented

Dental Facelifts For People With All/Some Of Their Teeth

If you have all of your teeth extra support can be given to your lips and cheek by adding dental veneers to the outer surface of your teeth.  

A loss of vertical dimension can be corrected by placing crowns or dental overlays over the biting surface of your back teeth to raise the vertical dimension. 

Dental Facelifts For People With No Teeth – Dental Implants & Dentures

If you’ve lost all your teeth, it may be possible to reduce the prevalence of wrinkles and facial lines by plumping out your lips and cheeks with implant retained dentures or all-on-4. 

As dentures replace the teeth, soft tissues and gums it can have a dramatic effect on your appearance. It can radically reduce wrinkles around your mouth giving you a more youthful appearance. 

In Summary

Gum recession and bone loss caused by periodontal disease not only leads to loose wobbly teeth with gaps between them and fallen teeth but also wrinkles and sunken cheeks making you look older than you are. 

Instead of looking at expensive anti-ageing products and cosmetic surgery to keep you youthful, preventing or controlling periodontal disease is cheaper and longer lasting.  You can find out more about treating and preventing periodontal disease at home here. 

If you have already experienced a significant loss of gum tissue or bone you may be a candidate for dental facelifts or bone and gum grafting. You can find out more about gum grafting here.   

Beat Gum Disease Now

Sources for What Can Help Wrinkles Around the Mouth From Tooth to Gum Recession

  1. Prevalence | Background information | Gingivitis and periodontitis | CKS | NICE.
  2. Tooth Wear Guidelines for the BSRD, 2018. Available here https://www.bsrd.org.uk/File.ashx?id=15192
Gareth Edwards image

Written by Gareth Edwards

Co-Founder & GDG Dentist

Dr. Gareth Edwards BDS (Hons) MFDS (RCPS Glasgow) is GDG Co-Founder and Gum Disease Expert.

He is a practicing dentist based in Bournemouth, UK and has treated thousands of patients with gum-related diseases.

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