Age- and gravity-related changes in facial morphology: 3-dimensional analysis of facial morphology in mother-daughter pairs.

See MS, Roberts C, Nduka C. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2008 Jul;66(7):1410-6.



There is increasing focus on the effects of gravity and age on facial appearance. Understanding these effects on facial morphology requires an accurate means of measuring surface topography. We present a preliminary study on the changes in facial topographic landmarks in a cohort of mothers and their daughters.

Materials and methods


The faces of mother-daughter pairs (N = 15, aged 13 to 61 years) were imaged by stereophotogrammetry in the upright and supine positions. Twenty anthropometric surface landmarks were placed, and the corresponding x, y, and z coordinates were generated with custom software. The relative excursion of each landmark from the upright to the supine position was calculated.



Movement of up to 7.3 mm occurred in the horizontal (x) plane, 5.7 mm in the vertical (y) plane, and 7.6 mm in the dorsoventral (z) plane. Significant movement (P < .05) in the vertical plane occurred in the upper lip, lateral canthi, labial commissures, and gonia. There was no significant movement in the dorsoventral plane. Maximal movement occurred in the lower third of the face in both groups but was more marked in the mothers.



Age- and gravity-related effects on the face can be accurately measured and documented with 3-dimensional imaging. This technique will allow comparison of rejuvenation techniques and a better understanding of the mechanisms of facial ageing.