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Introduction: The objective of this study was to define age-related changes in the human smile. The areas of interest were: upper lip length at smile and repose, upper lip thickness at smile and repose, maxillary incisal display at smile, interlabial gap height at smile, smile index, percent buccal corridors, intercommissural width at rest, smile height, and smile arc. A secondary objective was to study the perioral changes from rest to smile and compare them on the basis of age.

Materials and Method: Video equipment was used to capture video for 261 subjects. Two frames for each subject were selected; one frame representing the lips and rest and the second representing the widest smile. After excluding 40 subjects the data for the remaining 221 subjects was analyzed.

Results: There was a decrease of 1.5 to 2 mm in the maxillary incisor display during smile, with increase in age. Smile index significantly increased with increase in age. Most (78%) subjects displayed an average smile height. No subjects in the 50 and over age group displayed a high smile while no subjects in the 15-19 year old age group presented with a low smile. All the dynamic measures indicated there was a pattern of decreasing change from rest to smile especially evident after the 30-39 year old age group.

Conclusions: This study helps to establish age related dynamic norms. As the person ages the smile gets narrower vertically and wider transversely. The dynamic measures indicate that the muscles' ability to create a smile decreases with increasing age.

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