Witch’s chin is a common description for chin ptosis (pronounced toe-sis) or sagging. It’s not exactly accurate, but it is descriptive, and people can easily picture what it means: an elongated, pointed chin.
What Holds Your Chin Up
The human chin is a complex structure that hasn’t been explained. People have proposed that it’s an adaptation to stresses of eating or speaking. It’s even been proposed that men evolved chins to protect them against blows to the face from other men. And, of course, it plays an important role in making your face attractive. Its appearance comes from the interaction of three different elements: bone, muscles, and fat.
The chin bone is the forward part of the jaw, and it provides an anchor to important muscles that help control the lips and shape the chin.
The mentalis muscles are the most important muscles in the chin. They help you move your lips and support the chin. They also give the chin its shape. In most people, these two muscles overlap, giving a smooth single part of the chin. In some people, the chin muscles don’t overlap, which results in the appearance of a cleft chin. Other times, a person may have a partly cleft chin because the muscles overlap in an unusual configuration.
The chin fat pad sits on top of the muscles, providing extra volume, and is supported by the muscles.
How Dentures Can Cause Chin Sagging
Sagging chin is among the effects caused by poorly fitting dentures. It is caused by bone loss in the jaw. Once teeth are removed, the body removes jawbone that it believes isn’t necessary any more, causing the jawbone to shrink. As it shrinks, the muscle attachments for the mentalis muscles move backward and downward. This causes the muscles to move down, and with them the fat pad that sits atop them.
Cosmetic surgery offers no way to correct chin sagging caused by bone loss. The only solution is to prevent it from occurring in the first place.
Although some loss of bone is inevitable, for many people it occurs much faster than it should. Improperly fitting economy dentures can accelerate bone loss in the jaw, hastening the onset of witch’s chin.
If you would like to learn more about how properly fitting dentures can help preserve your facial appearance, please call (803) 781-9090 for an appointment with a Columbia, SC denture dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.