Objective: To study the longitudinal changes in 19 soft tissue cephalometric traits (according to the Bergman cephalometric soft tissue facial analysis).
Materials and methods: Cephalograms and photographs of 40 subjects (20 male, 20 female, from the Burlington Growth Centre) that were obtained at ages 6, 9, 12, 14, 16, and 18 years were used. Subjects were orthodontically untreated whites and had Class I dentoskeletal relationships (ideal overjet and overbite). Images were obtained with the lips in a relaxed position or lightly touching.
Results: Three groups of soft tissue traits were identified: (1) traits that increased in size with growth (nasal projection, lower face height, chin projection, chin-throat length, upper and lower lip thickness, upper lip length, and lower lip-chin length); (2) traits that decreased in size with growth (interlabial gap and mandibular sulcus contour [only in females]); and (3) traits that remained relatively constant during growth (facial profile angle, nasolabial angle, lower face percentage, chin-throat/lower face height percentage, lower face-throat angle, upper incisor exposure, maxillary sulcus contour, and upper and lower lip protrusion).
Conclusion: Current findings identify areas of growth and change in individuals with Class I skeletal and dental relationships with ideal overjet and overbite and should be considered during treatment planning of orthodontic and orthognathic patients.