What Facial Symmetry Says About Oral Health

A face that isn’t symmetrical can be telling about a person’s oral health. When the face shows signs of asymmetry, it demonstrates to doctors that there may be some underlying dental concerns. Symmetry is more than vain physical preference it also has some functional implications. Facial symmetry is a sign that facial muscles, bones, and nerves are balanced. Facial asymmetry, on the other hand, can be a sign of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

The Golden Ratio

Symmetry is something we innately gravitate toward. Great designs often demonstrate varying degrees of symmetry. From interior design to architecture to nature itself, we often see beauty through the lens of a standard referred to as the “golden ratio.” The importance of symmetry and the golden ratio are often applied to people as well. The Marquardt mask imposes this ratio to the human face to outline the “ideal” location of facial features. While controversial as a model for standardized beauty, the Marquardt mask succeeds in showcasing facial symmetry.

Facial Symmetry and TMD

Faces that do not demonstrate facial symmetry are those at the highest risk for dysfunctional conditions such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). For example, one peer-reviewed study compared test subjects with facial asymmetry and derangement of the TMJ. The research team concluded that the degree of asymmetry significantly correlated with TMD symptoms. The more asymmetry present, the more TMD symptoms experienced.TMD symptoms include:

  • Head: Headaches, migraines, facial pain
  • Neck: Neck pain, cervical dystonia, painful swallowing
  • Ears: Ear pain, ear congestion, vertigo, dizziness
  • Jaw: Jaw locking, temporomandibular joint pain, worn or chipped teeth, clicking and popping of the joint
  • Body: Fibromyalgia, generalized anxiety, tingling, numbness

Treating Asymmetry

Patients can experience significant relief from TMD symptoms through treatment plans focused on establishing more optimal bite alignment. Dr. Wallace can help treat patient asymmetries through the use of dental appliances and facial remodeling techniques.

Solutions for Facial Asymmetry at Palmetto Smiles of Beaufort

Dr. Wallace is a sleep apnea, TMJ specialized neuromuscular dentist located in Beaufort, SC. With a focus on cutting-edge dentistry techniques, Dr. Wallace can help patients experience significant pain reduction. For more information about facial symmetry and TMJ treatment, set up an appointment today by calling (843) 410-0345 or visit our contact page.

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