Accordion Effect

In recent years, we’ve developed many technologies that can help us combat facial aging. Facelifts are used to reposition sagging facial tissues in what is considered a more youthful position. Soft tissue fillers are used to replace lost volume in the face.

But what is commonly neglected is what plastic surgeons have referred to as the “concertina” or “accordion” effect of facial aging: how shrinking bone in the jaws causes your face to shrink and your soft tissue to fold, like the middle of an accordion.

How Facial Bones Change with Age

You know that babies have those cute little round faces. You’ve probably never thought about it, but they also have jowls. But as our face matures, jowls disappear and we get what we think of as a youthful, adult appearance. Then aging continues, and jowls reappear, only this time they’re not so cute anymore. Nobody wants to go around pinching your cheeks at this age (which, all things considered, is probably for the best).

This transformation of our face is an illustration of the accordion or concertina effect. When babies are born, their jaws aren’t fully developed. They have skin and fat that is in excess of the bone tissue to support them. But as teeth come in and need support, both the upper and lower jaw become more robust. This is what leads to the youthful appearance we have in our late teens and early 20s: the one where everything seems balanced and everything is in place. The face acquires what we consider proper proportions, with well-developed thirds of the forehead, the midface, and the lower face.

But when the jawbones, both the upper jaw and the lower jaw, shrink with age, the lower third of the face reduces, and as a result features of the midface can sag downward, such as the cheeks, creating jowls, while other features fold inward, creating wrinkles, like the way an accordion folds up when it gets pushed together.

Replace Like with Like

If you are experiencing this type of facial aging, you might get a surgical facelift that will cut away some of your skin and other facial tissues and stretch what remains to cover your reduced facial volume.

But to get a more natural result in facial rejuvenation, it’s best to replace what was lost. Although it’s difficult to replace lost bone, we can do the next best thing: replace the lost volume with  your teeth. Your teeth are another hard tissue that can perform the same structural work of providing support and volume in the lower face. A nonsurgical facelift builds up your teeth to help support your natural facial tissues.

The effect can be even more pronounced for denture wearers because bone loss accelerates after teeth are lost. That’s why FOY Dentures® can make people look years, even decades younger.

If you would like to learn whether the accordion effect is making you look old, please call (912) 234-8282 for an appointment with a Savannah cosmetic dentist at Beyond Exceptional Dentistry today.