face of a smiling woman

You may have heard that having your wisdom teeth out can change the shape of your face or jawline.

In over 20 years of removing wisdom teeth, we have never seen this happen. Reports of faces slimming or becoming more “V-shaped” have not been measured objectively or verified in any research.

Temporary Changes

Changes may appear while you are recovering from wisdom tooth extraction and in the weeks after, but once swelling goes down and you resume your regular diet, your face will go back to normal.

Your wisdom teeth are located in the back of the mouth, where bone is dense. The removal of wisdom teeth roots does not impact this bone area enough to cause a ‘hole’ in the bone.

The portion of your jaw that wisdom teeth grow in is knowns as the dental alveolus. This is separate from the basal jawbone, which determines the shape of your jaw. Therefore, taking out wisdom teeth does not impact your jawbone or jaw shape.

The soft tissue and skin around your wisdom teeth consist of muscles, underlying fat, and fat pads of the face. These soft tissues are not changed by the removal of wisdom teeth.

What May Be Happening When A Face Seems Slimmer After Oral Surgery:

  1. The face looks thinner after the swelling goes down.
  2. They eat less during recovery, and weight loss usually shows up first in the face.
  3. Natural aging of the face can be confused with the extraction of wisdom teeth. Soft tissues shrink around the jaw and chin as we age.

Dr. Puckett has removed hundreds of wisdom teeth, and can answer any questions you may have when considering the procedure.

Because of the evolution of the human diet, we don’t need our wisdom teeth any more, and they often cause problems. If your dentist sees that your wisdom teeth are impacted or coming in crooked, getting them out when you are young (when the procedure is less complex) is a wise course of action.