What is a genuine smile?

Jonathan B. Levine, DMD
Over 100 years ago, French neurologist G.B. Duchenne distinguished a genuine smile from a fake smile. A genuine smile engages the muscles around the mouth and the eyes. Dubbed the Duchenne Smile, this is a marker of authentic enjoyment, happiness, elation, pleasure and enjoyment. A fake smile involves the voluntary contraction of solely the muscles around the mouth. A genuine smile has been linked to tremendous health benefits linked to the release of endorphins, the morphine-like molecules in our brain that elevate our mood. 

This content orignally appeared on doctoroz.com.
Discovery Health

A genuine smile also is called a Duchenne smile, after neurologist Guillaume Duchenne. He identified in 1862 the muscles used in a spontaneous smile, which involves muscles beyond the mouth - for instance, those crinkling at the outer corners of the eyes.

Continue Learning about Emotions



Medical science recognizes a mind-body connection and that your emotions may affect your body's physical health. Being down or depressed can cause fatigue, aches, and pains. If you are having problems and are also stressed, it's a ...

good idea to let your doctor know. This can be part of the diagnosis. Seeking an emotional balance and developing some resistance to bad feelings can be an important step to improved health. Techniques to improve your emotional health can range from medication to talking with an advisor, eating healthfully or exercising.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.