What Does Philtrum Mean?


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Lakshmipriya Nair Profile
Philtrum refers to the vertical groove or dimple in centre of the upper lip. It is located directly under the tip of the nose. The way the philtrum appears is determined genetically. This word is derived from a Greek word philein which means to love or kiss. Philtrum is created where the nasomedial and maxillary processes meet through embryonic development. Philtrum enables humans for a dynamic range of lip movements essential for vocal and non-verbal communications.

An error during the formation of philtrum may result in a cleft lip or hare lip. In cases of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome the philtrum is absent. It is caused due to the consumption of alcohol by the mother during pregnancy. This spot was considered as one of the most erogenous spots by the ancient Greeks. According to a folklore god sends an angel to every child in the womb and teaches a baby all the wisdom there is to be acquired but erases it when the child is born by touching it between the upper lip and nose which is where the philtrum is located.

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