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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Mouth Skin

01/05/2010

Question:

I`ve heard that mouth skin metabolizes collagen faster than other body skin and this is why it never wrinkles. Is this true and is there anything we can learn from oral care and apply to other body skincare?

Answer:

It would be impossible to compare the oral mucosa ("mouth skin") to skin at other body sites. Each anatomic site of the body has different types of collagen and different types of fibroblasts (cells that produce collagen) that are genetically pre-programmed to a great extent.

The most significant cause of wrinkling is chronic exposure to ultraviolet light (sunlight), particularly in fair-skinned individuals. Obviously, this environmental factor would not apply to the oral mucosa.

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Response by:

Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD
Professor Emeritus of Oral Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University