Journal Article

Comparative data on facial morphology and muscle thickness using ultrasonography

Fikret Şatıroğlu, Tülin Arun and Fulya Işık

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 27, issue 6, pages 562-567
Published in print December 2005 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online August 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI:
Comparative data on facial morphology and muscle thickness using ultrasonography

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The purpose of this investigation was to measure the thickness of the masseter, levator labii superioris, and zygomaticus major muscles; to examine the reproducibility of ultrasonographically measured muscle thickness; to evaluate the association between facial and masticatory muscle thickness and vertical facial pattern; and to test whether the variation in muscle thickness is related to the variation in the body mass index (BMI) of different individuals.

The thickness of the masseter, levator labii superioris and zygomaticus major muscles was measured bilaterally by ultrasonography in 47 (23 females, 24 males) healthy, fully-dentate young adults who volunteered for the study. The measurements for each individual were performed twice for the masseter muscle: during relaxation and during maximal clenching. Standardized lateral cephalograms of the subjects were traced to determine their facial morphology. The data obtained from the lateral cephalograms were used to divide the subjects into three groups according to their vertical facial pattern: low angle (n = 14), high angle (n = 17) and normal (n = 16).

In the low angle group, the mean masseter muscle thickness was 15.20 (± 1.90) mm under relaxed conditions and 16.31 (± 2.18) mm during maximal clenching. In the high angle group, the respective measurements were 13.29 (± 2.52) mm and 14.72 (± 2.63) mm. In the vertically normal group, they were 13.56 (± 1.95) mm and 14.57 (± 1.83) mm. There was no relationship between vertical growth of the face and the thickness of the investigated muscles of facial expression.

Masseter muscle thickness was found to be significantly correlated to vertical facial pattern and BMI, showing that individuals with a thick masseter had a vertically shorter facial pattern, whereas the muscles of facial expression showed no relationship with vertical facial pattern.

Journal Article.  2598 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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