Does skipping the dentist really give us wrinkles?

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There’s another reason for regularly going to the dentist – avoiding our appointments can gives us wrinkles.

That’s according to dermatologist Debbie Palmer, who says that poor dental health can lead to a loss of bone density in the jaws and cheeks and, therefore, lead to sagging skin or perioral wrinkles – the lines around the mouth.

She told Women’s Health that worn down teeth can also contribute to ageing as the closed bite provides less support to the skin and recommends that, if we grind our teeth or clench, we should see help from our dentist who can create a custom–made mouthguard to prevent bruxism (or tooth grinding).

So, we spoke to comparethetreatment.com expert and leading cosmetic dentist Ian Hallam who, as a specialist in facial aesthetics, knows only too well how our facial and dental aesthetics best work in harmony.

He explains: ‘Teeth give a natural support to the perioral tissues. Dental health is certainly important for prevention of tooth loss – if teeth are lost, the cheeks and/or lip will sink inwards.

‘Bone density is a completely separate issue and only become a problem when teeth are lost and implants are being considered.’

His top tips for preventative measures include:
• Correct cleaning and oral hygiene
• Regular check-ups with the dentist to monitor any pocketing and regular hygienist visits
• A dental appointment, so that the dentist can address any excess tooth wear, since this results in over closure.

Treatments may include building up worn teeth, using composite fillings, veneers or crowns.

And, what are his top anti-ageing treatments?

Dr Hallam recommends:
• Prevention to avoid tooth loss
• Treatment of any excess tooth wear (as described above)
• Replacement of any missing teeth – either with bridgework or preferably implants.

He explains: ‘Generally, most people can have implants. If there is excessive bone loss, bone augmentation procedures can be carried out in order to provide sufficient bone.

‘However, certain medical conditions or certain medications can make healing poorer, e.g. diabetes, bisphosphonate medication and smoking results in poor healing and soft tissue health.

Other treatments can include composite fillings, veneers and crowns to restore vertical dimension, give support to the lips and restore the natural aesthetic proportions of the teeth to give an attractive smile.
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