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Evaluating and Establishing Ideal Smile Esthetics : Beauty is More than Skin Deep

Course Number: 649

Lip Mobility

When a patient smiles, the upper lip will elevate and display the maxillary incisors. Symmetry of movement in this case allows for uniform display and is considered esthetic.23Mean lip mobility results in a reduction of 80% of the original lip length and a subsequent display of maxillary anterior teeth of approximately 10mm with a natural smile.23 Physiologic lip mobility ranges from 2-12mm, but considerable heterogeneity is present among individuals.26Lip mobility is greater in women compared to men and women are more likely to have excessive lip mobility.23 Such excessive lip mobility may cause excessive gingival display during full smile despite normal lip length (Figure 6).

Lip Mobility - Figure 1

Figure 6: Excessive gingival display related to lip mobility during full smile.