What causes dimples?

Dr paul gerarchi

What are dimples?

A smile is far more than just your mouth and teeth, it is an expression that runs across your entire face, making you appear more attractive and of course happy. One of the big factors that contributes to the aesthetics of a smile is dimples that conjure up images of sweet babies and adorable chubby cheeked children, but many people would be surprised to find out that these desirable cheek indentations are actually a birth defect. Dimples are usually found on both cheeks but there are rarer cases of single dimples forming on one side of the face only. They are not always visible at rest since the facial muscles are relaxed.

Sometimes dimples can also be caused by excessive fat in the face, however these are not permanent because as soon as that fat is lost, they too will disappear.

Types of facial dimples

There are two types of dimples: cheek and chin. The chin dimple is mostly attributed to a cleft in the chin bone causing the skin to pull into that well and make a chin dimple. A chin dimple on a male is commonly perceived as being masculine and attractive in spite of it being a bone abnormality.

Cheek dimples are a little more complex because there is no bone involved. It is widely agreed that they are genetic, though some studies view them as an irregular dominant trait, meaning that just because your parents have dimpled smiled, does not mean that you will automatically inherit one yourself.

What causes dimples?

There are two different theories about the cause of dimples, the first being that they are formed as a result of shorter muscles around the mouth. Meaning that when you smile, those muscles pull more and create clefts in your cheeks, appearing as dimples.

The second and more popular theory is that dimples are a defect in the large muscle in your face called the zygomaticus major. This muscle is normally all in one piece so a divide in this muscle is what would cause a dimple to form.

Can you form dimples yourself?

Dimples are often associated with youth and childhood and are so desirable that for decades, many people have attempted to form them at home. The idea of creating your own dimples is an old one that appeared in a book published in 1872, where a little girl repeatedly pushed her pencil into her cheeks each day in an attempt to deepen her already existing dimples. There is also evidence of archaic devices created in the 1930’s, meant to be worn around the head so that it could create natural dimples for you.

Makeup and expert contouring can give the appearance of dimples though obviously this is extremely temporary. And more recently, dimple piercings have become popularised. These piercings in the cheeks serve to pinch the skin and create a dent that is held in place by the bar, giving the appearance of dimples. All of these meothds aside, the bottom line is that dimples cannot, unfortunately be formed at home.

Creating dimples surgically

Dimples are no doubt considered a sign of sexual attractiveness and though you may not be able to create them at home, there is a surgical alternative.

Dimpleplasty is the surgery wherein an incision is made on the inside of the cheek which then tunnels all the way through to the undersurface of the skin of the cheek. A permanent stitch is then placed between the skin and the underlying muscle, creating a dimple. This is by no means a simple operation as there are nerves and glands that need to be avoided and the creation of symmetry is no easy task to accomplish but Dr Paul Gerarchi is an expert in his field. Dimple creation can give you the charming and genuine dimples that you desire so if you are considering a dimpleplasty then call (02) 9412 4599 to make an enquiry or book a consultation to find out more.