Marionette Lines And Dental Problems: A Curious Connection

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A cosmetic dentist can do more than improve the appearance of your teeth. An increasing number of dental clinics are offering treatments that focus on facial aesthetics. These cosmetic treatments can complement dental treatments or be offered on their own. But how can a facial treatment work in conjunction with dental treatment? 

Concealing the Problem

For some patients, any dental problems are concealed once their mouth is closed. Teeth may be discolored, deteriorated, or even missing, but you wouldn't know it until they open their mouth—even though such conditions certainly need prompt treatment. Other patients have different experiences. 

Clenching and Sagging

Whether it's decay changing the height and shape of teeth or a misalignment of the bite, dental problems may change the position of your jaw. Muscles and tendons may become clenched and then the lower section of your face begins to sag. In a number of cases, this sagging can lead to the formation and deepening of facial wrinkles—particularly marionette lines.

Between Your Lips and Your Chin

Marionette lines are naturally-occurring wrinkles that extend vertically between your lips and your chin. They're named for their resemblance to marionette puppets, whose jaws can slide up and down within these lines to create the appearance of speech. Marionette lines are a common aspect of aging, and can be more prominent in some people. They can be even more obvious as a result of dental issues that change the vertical dimensions of teeth.

Tooth Restoration

First and foremost, your dental issues should be corrected—with the teeth rebuilt using an appropriate dental restoration, such as crowns. This won't remove the external effect caused by your facial sagging. This is where it can be fortunate to be treated by a dentist who also offers cosmetic facial solutions.

Smoothing Marionette Lines

Marionette lines are usually smoothed out with injectables. Botox is an effective form or treatment, but not necessarily the default, depending on the look you wish to achieve. Your dentist may suggest a more mild approach, such as using a soft tissue filler like hyaluronic acid. However, depending on the prominence of your marionette lines, an adaptable approach may be needed—using Botox in the first instance, followed by a soft tissue filler to maintain your results.

While marionette lines can be worsened by dental problems, remember that fixing your dental issues won't reduce those wrinkles. Fortunately, a simple injection can be all it takes to remove the external evidence of your tooth troubles.

Contact a local dentist to learn more about facial treatments.