Removing Teeth for Braces Facial Defects Might Benefit Your Oral Health

by | Apr 10, 2022

Removing Teeth for Braces Facial Defects

The field of dentistry involves a great number of different practices and services. There are numerous different specialties and subspecialties in dentistry that can take entire careers to master. One of the hardest decisions a dentist will make regards removing teeth for braces facial defects, is if someone suffers from facial defects that there is already a serious psychological factor that must be considered when a decision to remove teeth for braces is on the table.

Removing teeth can and will permanently affect the shape of a person’s face. If a person already has a facial defect, then an extracted tooth could be used as a remedy to correct the alignment of the face. Removing teeth for braces facial defects must always be done by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who is skilled and experienced in extractions and how they will influence the alignment of the face and jaw. If done incorrectly, the symmetry of the face could be influenced.

How Teeth Affect the Symmetry of the Face 

The shape and look of your face are a major determining factor for your overall appearance. The symmetry of your face is a delicate balance between the interior structures of your mouth and how the jaw coordinates with each other. This balance of teeth and jaw functionality is important to your overall oral health as well.

When there are defects in your teeth and jaw it is felt on both a physical and emotional level. How you feel about your smile will directly influence your self-esteem and that can manifest in your social life. Also, when you have issues with teeth and your jaw, it can restrict the kinds of food that you will eat, which can lead to vitamin deficiencies and malnourishment. 

Your teeth are directly responsible for the length of your face and the anatomy of the jawbone. If your teeth are naturally shorter, or if they have been ground down, it could cause facial asymmetry. A collapsing bite propels the jaw forward resulting in a sunken, hollow facial appearance. Your teeth even shift on their own, which can cause a once symmetrical smile to become uneven. Shifting teeth can also cause the shortening of the face and a deeper bite.

What Happens When Removing Teeth for Braces Facial Defects?

If you are only missing a molar or two, you may think it will do little to affect the overall appearance of your face. As far as the appearance of your face goes, you will be correct. However, your jawbone feels the loss of a tooth differently. With every tooth you lose, your jawbone will start to experience bone loss. Having only a couple of missing teeth will cause your jawbone to atrophy much slower than if you were missing several, but the process is progressive. The more weakened your jawbone gets, the more it cannot support all of the remaining, healthy teeth. So, the more your jawbone atrophies the more teeth you will start to lose.

With the more teeth that you lose, the more sunken your face will begin to look and the space between your nose and chin will decrease. When this happens the lower part of your face partially collapses and changes the appearance of your entire face. Removing teeth for braces facial defects is not ideal but it may be the best way to address your oral health issues.

How Removing a Tooth Can Help Your Overall Health 

Back when we were kids, losing a tooth meant a magical visit from the tooth fairy and some extra money for treats. Unfortunately, when you are an adult, losing a tooth isn’t quite as fun or magical. There are a lot of reasons that you may need to go to a dentist to get that extraction. Getting multiple extractions over the course of a period of time can come with some unpleasant side effects, but sometimes it’s unavoidable.

Cavities are one of the most common reasons you will need to get a tooth pulled. While most dentists will try to save the tooth, and perform a root canal, if the cavity has spread to the pulp of the tooth generally it will have to be extracted. A simple extraction may prevent the decay and infection from moving into other teeth, the gum tissue, the jaw, and eventually your bloodstream.

Wisdom Teeth May Need Extraction

In many cases when a person’s back molars, also known as wisdom teeth, start to come in they will need to be extracted. The jaw just isn’t big enough to fit these teeth, so when they begin to emerge, normally before a person reaches full adulthood, it is crucial to get the teeth removed. If they are not extracted, these teeth can cause infections and impactions. There are rare instances where people never have their wisdom teeth grow out, and do not have to have them removed.

There are circumstances where an orthodontist recommends tooth removal prior application of braces. When teeth grow in twisted and displaced, tooth crowding can occur. This creates disharmony in the ratio of the number of teeth to the size of the jaw. Crowding can be caused by early or late loss of primary teeth. Improper eruption of teeth may be to blame as well. In this instance, a tooth, or teeth, must be removed to make space for the other teeth to straighten in the mouth.

Facial Defects and Our Teeth

The most common facial defect that involves teeth is a cleft lip and palate. The CDC estimates that about 1 in 1,600 babies will be born with both a cleft lip and cleft palate. About 1 in every 2,800 babies is born with just a cleft lip. One in every 1,700 babies will be born with just a cleft palate.

While babies develop in the womb, there is a split (cleft) between the two sides of their upper lip and top of their mouth (palate). In normal development, this split will close right around the 10th week of pregnancy. In rare instances, this tissue doesn’t join together, which creates a cleft lip and palate. The severity of the cleft can be slight or large and can extend from the lip to the nose on either side of the lip or right down the middle.

This condition, if left untreated, depending on the size of the cleft, can create problems eating and breathing, and as the children age, speech and language delays. Children that suffer from a cleft lip or palate are more prone to get ear infections, hearing loss, and issues with their teeth.

Oral Abnormalities & Imbalances

Research has shown that the dental problems that occur in children with cleft palates may be caused by abnormalities in the salivary glands and an imbalance of immune compounds in the mouth. Researchers stated: “We found that the cleft lip and palate gene mutation also resulted in abnormal salivary glands,” Dr. Cox said. “The result was a mouth environment that was too acidic and contained excess bacteria, which led to problems in the gums and more rapid tooth decay.” (Dental problems in cleft lip and palate linked to abnormal salivary glands, 2017)

Other tooth abnormalities are linked to cleft palates as well. Sometimes teeth will be completely missing, growing in opposite directions, and delayed in their eruption. It is also a common issue with cleft palates where an abnormal number of teeth will grow in. (HAQUE, 2015)

Orthodontics for Cleft Palate 

Orthodontics is the practice of dentistry to correct and align irregular teeth. Braces are the most common dental appliances. Children that were born with a cleft palate normally see a specialist orthodontist at an early age that will monitor their growing teeth and address any issues that may arise. The type of treatment that a child with a cleft will have to undergo depends on whether their cleft affects the alveolus. The alveolus is a socket in the jawbone where the teeth sit. Children born with a cleft that went through the gum and affects their teeth will usually need more extensive orthodontic treatment.

If the child’s cleft affects the alveolus an alveolar bone graft will need to be performed so that when their adult teeth begin to come in, the teeth will come in relatively straight and properly. The procedure involves taking a bit of bone tissue from either the hip or shin bone and then using that tissue to fill in the cleft. During this procedure, we repair the “floor” of the nose so that the nose looks straighter.

A common practice in orthodontics for individuals with clefts is extracting teeth due to overcrowding before braces can be used to straighten the teeth. Removing teeth for braces facial defects may lower the overall bone density of the jaw. However, it is necessary in the cases of cleft palates due to the nature of defect. As long as only a few teeth are removed, young children can recover their bone density as they age. Depending on the severity of the cleft, gain a normal and natural smile.

Choose City Dental Centers for Removing Teeth for Braces Facial Defects

City Dental Centers has dental offices all over Southern California. Our dentists repair cleft palates and other facial defects so our patients receive happy smiles they deserve. If you have a child born with a cleft palate or other facial defect, it can be scary and stressful. If you put your faith in the experts, rest assured your beautiful baby will grow up with a healthy set of teeth and gums.  

City Dental Centers has made it our mission to bring the highest quality dental care to everyone, regardless of what kind of neighborhood they live in. It doesn’t matter if your family lives in a private gated community, or in government-assisted housing, they deserve the very best dental care the industry has to offer.

Doctor Sam Shahovesi and the team at City Dental Centers are here to provide our patients with the best dental services and dental surgeries for children and adults of all ages. From toddlers to seniors, City Dental Centers offers six convenient dentist offices in Southern California. Whether you need checkups, x-rays, removing teeth for braces facial defects, bonding, teeth whitening, sealants, oral cancer screenings, root canals, crowns, bridges, implants, or tooth extraction, City Dental Centers is here to make the process as easy and comfortable as possible.

Contact The Nearest Dentist to You

Ready to experience the best dentists in Los Angeles? Choose one of the convenient dental offices we have surrounding LA. We have dental practices in Azusa, Corona, Lake Forest, Montclair, Pico Rivera, and West Covina. You can call our main line at (888) 624-8933 or reach out to an office directly with the information below. Alternatively, you can visit our new patients & first visits page for more info. We’re so happy you’ve chosen City Dental Centers. We can’t wait to help you along your dental journey and brighten your beautiful smile!

Dentist in Azusa, CA

Location: 483 S. Citrus Ave. Azusa, CA 91702
Phone: (626) 966-3400

Dentist in Corona, CA

Location: 161 McKinley St. STE 102, Corona, CA 92879
Phone: (951) 737-3746

Dentist in Lake Forest, CA

Location: 24602 Raymond Way #210, Lake Forest, CA 92630
Phone: (949) 461-5800

Dentist in Montclair, CA

Location: 5182 Moreno St, Montclair, CA 91763
Phone: (909) 295-3477

Dentist in Pico Rivera, CA

Location: 9400 Whittier Blvd, Pico Rivera, CA 90660
Phone: (562) 949-2526

Dentist in West Covina, CA

Location: 154 Plaza Dr, West Covina, CA 91790
Phone: (626) 962-1722


  • Dental problems in cleft lip and palate linked to abnormal salivary glands. (2017). Retrieved from UW School of Dentistry:
  • HAQUE, S. (2015). Common Dental Anomalies in Cleft Lip and Palate Patients. The Malasian Journal of Medical Sciences.