Witch’s chin is a poor label for sagging chin, but it’s effective. We can all picture the image that it represents: a long chin that hangs down. While dentures
that don’t fit right won’t give you green skin or warts, if they don’t fit right, dentures can undermine the support for your chin, causing it to sag.
What Holds Your Chin Up
The chin is a complex structure, unique in modern humans, and essential to our appearance. The chin’s form is made up of three distinct parts: muscles, fat, and bone. Underlying bone provides the foundation for your chin, and also an anchor for muscles. The chin bone is the forward portion of the lower jaw.
Atop the bones are the mentalis muscles, which are small muscles that help control the lips, but also support the chin. The muscles do a lot to determine the shape of the chin. Normally, these muscles overlap to create a smooth, rounded chin. If the muscles don’t overlap, the result is a cleft chin, whose separate parts are created by the shape of the two muscles. A partially cleft chin can also be caused by muscles that overlap too high.
The fat pad of the chin rests atop the chin muscles, and is supported by them.
How Dentures Can Cause Chin Sagging
Dentures cause chin sagging if they are poorly fitting because they can contribute to loss of bone. As bone is removed from the lower jaw, the place where the muscles attach moves backward and downward. As this happens, so do the muscles, and along with them the chin fat pad, causing a sunken chin.
Although some loss of bone in the jaw is inevitable once the teeth are gone, dentures that don't fit properly accelerate bone loss. They create external, traumatic force on the jawbone by either creating pinch points or by rocking back and forth. This accelerates bone loss, and, as a result, chin sagging.
Once this bone is lost, there’s really no way to correct chin sagging. Even cosmetic surgery can do little to rectify the appearance of a saggy chin. The best way to avoid a saggy chin is to maintain your bone. This means dental implants for some, but if you are getting dentures not supported by implants, ensuring proper fit is crucial to avoiding sagging of the chin.
If you are looking for properly fitting dentures to avoid excessive bone loss, please contact a local FOY® Dentures dentist.