A smile is a simple and universal manifestation of happiness, friendliness, and openness towards each other. Most conditions tend to change our smiles with age; the factors may emanate from within our bodies or from outside. The knowledge of the science behind these changes might give some insight into the reasons for the evolving nature of our smile. 

First of all, it is the weakening of the facial muscles over time that is linked to growth and age. The mouth turned down, the lips flattened, and some loss of support of the lips further caused loss of muscle tone and elasticity, thus contributing to further aging looks. In addition, the inconspicuous loss of density of the bones in the jaw can also cause displacements in the position of the teeth and spacing to affect the alignment of the smile. In fact, with time, it’s the health of the teeth and gums that help mold the smile. Together, they can have a vital impact on smile beauty and function: tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. In short, whether we like it or not, smile changes over time.

As we get older, enamel erosion and wear become more general. This can lead to discoloration, sensitivity, and changes in tooth shape. The restorative treatment with dental implants, crowns, and dentures may be required to restore the integrity of the smile for continued oral function. Changes associated with aging do affect the underlying structure of the face, and therefore, smile appearance. Gradual changes in the structure of our bones—jaws and cheekbones—changing the proportional relationship and symmetry of our faces affect the way our smiles might “turn out.”.

Furthermore, over time, the face naturally loses both its fat and collagen due to the progressive aging process, which results in a drooping skin with deepening creases, affecting the overall smile aesthetics. Other external factors attributed to smile aging include smoking, sun exposure, and dietary habits. Smoking does not only stain the teeth, but it also hastens the start of gum disease and loss of teeth, which adds to a smile that gets aged too early. In the same way, long exposure to the sun can thin the lips and, in part, contribute to forming those small wrinkles around the mouth that detract from the smile’s youthfulness. 

On top of that, a diet that contains sugar and acidic foods highly contributes to the erosion of the enamel, hence resulting in decayed teeth. Thus, this highly compromises the health and vibrancy of a smile. Time brings with it changes, and out of those changes, one of the most visible is the smile. Smiling is a reflection from inside and changes along the various journeys life may throw at you. 

It is by understanding the reasons that smile ages and, if it can, through proactive measures, maintain the beauty and vitality of a functional smile throughout the years. Embrace the changes that come with growing older. For every smile line and imperfection speaks to its very own volume about laughter, wisdom, and resilience.