The interincisor distance, the vertical lip distance, and the horizontal oral distance were measured in 68 patients with generalized scleroderma and in 66 healthy individuals. Interincisor distance and vertical lip distance were decreased in scleroderma (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001). Vertical lip distance and horizontal oral distance provided clinically a clear differentiation between minor and major affection (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001), while the interincisor distance provided a weaker differentiation (p < 0.05). The horizontal oral distance correlated with the duration of scleroderma (r = ––0.289, p < 0.05), and the vertical lip distance tended to do so (r = ––0.208, n.s.). In healthy individuals interincisor and vertical lip distances decreased significantly with age (in males only), while the horizontal oral distance showed no significant decrease. In conclusion, interincisor and vertical lip distances are preferable for diagnosis and the horizontal oral distance for follow-up of facial scleroderma. If only one vertical parameter is wanted, the authors prefer the vertical lip distance to the interincisor distance.

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