NCBI ROFL: Beauty week: Beauty and the teeth.

By ncbi rofl | August 4, 2010 7:00 pm

2603413014_559218e6d7_b Beauty and the teeth: perception of tooth color and its influence on the overall judgment of facial attractiveness.

“This study investigated the influence of changes in tooth color on judgments of facial attractiveness. Standardized photographs were presented, and teeth were digitally manipulated (main categories: original, whitened, colored; filler category: impaired). Participants were instructed to evaluate the faces for attractiveness.Additionally, they were asked to name facial features they found either positive or negative with regard to attractiveness. Whitened teeth were mentioned more often in a positive way but did not improve participants’ assessment of attractiveness. A colored tooth did not attract attention, and the attractiveness judgment did not worsen. Tooth color is thus not necessarily perceived and does not have a major impact on facial attractiveness.”


Photo: flickr/david_shankbone

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  • Jojo

    I’d question those results. Yellow smoker teeth really does make people look less attractive. Maybe the false coloring they used wasn’t very realistic?

    Also found this:

    BMC Public Health. 2005; 5: 27.
    Published online 2005 March 24. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-5-27.
    PMCID: PMC1079878

    Smoking and tooth discolouration: findings from a national cross-sectional study
    Mhd N Alkhatib, Ruth D Holt, Raman Bedi
    Received July 20, 2004; Accepted March 24, 2005.


    Smoking is a risk factor of a number of oral diseases; the extent to which tobacco products influence dental aesthetics has not been widely investigated. The aim of this study was to determine satisfaction with own tooth colour of smokers and non-smokers and to investigate whether smokers have higher levels of self-assessed tooth discolouration compared to non-smokers

    A cross sectional national study was conducted on sample of 6,000 UK adults. A total of 3,384 adults was interviewed. Smoking behaviour was recorded together with satisfaction with own tooth colour. Prevalence of perceived discolouration was measured by asking respondents to match their own tooth colour to one of a set of seven photographs of differing severities of discolouration.

    Twenty eight percent of smokers reported having moderate and severe levels of tooth discolouration compared to 15% in non-smokers. As well as more often perceiving discolouration smokers were also more likely to be dissatisfied with their own tooth colour compared to non-smokers.

    The study provides further evidence of the negative impact of tobacco smoking on dental aesthetics in the general public. The evidence provided by the study may be of value in short interventions for smoking cessation in the dental setting.

  • Bee

    It might not affect attractiveness. But when I see somebody with superwhite shiny teeth, I conclude this person spends a lot of time bleaching their teeth. Is that somebody I am interested talking to?

  • Jojo

    @Bee – I think you are attempting to make a connection between people with clean teeth being vain as opposed to be people being slobs? And that slobs are more enjoyable and profitable people to associate with?

  • Bee

    Bleaching teeth has nothing to do with cleaning teeth as I hope you are aware of.


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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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