Scientists have long studied attraction to find out what the majority of people find most appealing and why. They have found that there are a large number of factors at play, from body shape to hormone levels, and even the way a person dresses. Studies have also found that the symmetry of one’s face can affect how attractive they appear to others. Symmetry describes when parts of your body are like mirror images of one another. Studies have found that humans prefer faces that are more symmetrical.

What is an Asymmetrical Face?

When you look at someone’s face and it’s symmetrical, this means their face has the exact same qualities on either side. An asymmetrical face is one that might have one eye larger than the other, eyes at different heights, different sized ears, crooked teeth, and etc. Most people have some level of asymmetry on their face and it’s not at all unusual. Although most asymmetrical features are genetic, some are due to other causes.

What Causes an Asymmetrical Face?

If you’re wondering why one ear is bigger than the other or your eyelids don’t match, it’s possibly due to a number of causes. These causes include the following.

Closeup of a young female's teeth

Genetics

Your asymmetric qualities might occur during development due to your genetics. If your mom has asymmetrical lips or your dad has one ear bigger than the other, they can pass these genes onto you. On the flip side, vascular disorders and cleft lip and palate are genetic health conditions that can also cause asymmetric features.

Smoking

When you smoke, it directly exposes your face to toxins. These toxins were a direct correlation to asymmetric features according to a 2014 study.

Sun Damage

When your skin experiences exposure to UV rays, it can cause patches, spots, and moles to develop on your skin. These are never equally distributed throughout your body, and especially your face. Sun damage can also cause damage to only one side of your face.

Aging

As you age, asymmetry will only increase due to wrinkles, and changes to your ears and nose.

Dental Work

If you have a tooth extracted, it can impact the way your facial features appear on that side of your face. Getting veneers or dentures can also change the contours of your face which isn’t always symmetrical.

Injury

If you experience any injury to your face, especially during childhood, it can make your face appear to look asymmetrical.

Lifestyle Habits

It’s possible that some of your lifestyle habits like your sleeping position, sitting with crossed legs, posture, or simply resting your hand against your face can cause asymmetry.

Bell’s Palsy

If you experience sudden facial symmetry, it’s potential that Bell’s Palsy is the cause. Bell’s Palsy causes facial paralysis of the muscles on one side of your face. It can occur as a result of a viral infection or pregnancy. Usually, the side effects are temporary though.

Torticollis

Also known as “twisted neck,” torticollis causes your neck muscles to rest in an abnormal position which can result in asymmetrical facial features. This condition usually occurs in the womb and in most cases, only causes temporary effects.

Stroke

A stroke can cause numbness on one side of your face and a drooping smile. Other symptoms include arm weakness or numbness and difficulty speaking.

Is My Face Symmetrical?

If you’re wondering if your face is symmetrical, the best way to test it is by printing out of a photo of your face. After you print it, use a ruler and a level to determine if your features are even on both sides. There are also apps that will evaluate your photos to tell you if your face is symmetrical.

Subtle Signs of Strain and Ill-Health

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh found that childhood is reflected in the face. In their studies, they measured 15 different facial features to determine asymmetry in the face. They found that subjects with more asymmetric faces also had harder childhoods. Trauma, stress, illness, and even exposure to cigarette smoke during childhood development all seemed to contribute to asymmetry.

Facial symmetry may be a subtle signal that a person has the ability to cope well with environmental stressors, suggesting positive character traits that lead to more success in that person’s life. Our brains are hard-wired to seek out symmetry in faces. Babies will watch images of symmetrical faces for longer than asymmetric ones. Our brain may be looking for those subtle signals of success, but may also be looking for signs of illness.

There are several conditions that can cause a face to appear uneven, including bone disorders, degenerative conditions, stroke, and Bell’s palsy. Our teeth also play a large role in how even our face appears to others.

How To Make Your Face More Symmetrical

After people realize that their facial asymmetry has links to their dental health, we start getting all types of questions. Can TMJ cause an asymmetrical face? Does tooth loss cause asymmetry? Do dentures help? We’ve heard it all. If you suffer from an asymmetrical face and you want to improve your appearance, our cosmetic dentists in Spokane can help. They will evaluate your facial features and your oral health to determine which treatments can benefit your overall appearance the most. Our treatments will also help make your face more symmetrical. Discover a few ways we can help.

Tooth Replacements

When we lose teeth, our facial structure changes because our teeth support the muscles of our face. Without that support, our facial muscles sink in. Our face can look uneven when we are missing teeth on one side of the face and not the other. Implants and dental bridges can fill these spaces and give support back to the structure of the face.

Orthodontics

Facial asymmetry can also be caused by a condition called an occlusal cant, which happens when teeth appear to be slanted compared to the alignment of the nose and lips. The bite plane becomes uneven, tilting facial muscles and the jaw out of their usual alignment. Getting orthodontic treatment like braces or Invisalign can help make your face more symmetrical.

TMJ Treatment and Bite Adjustment

Studies have found that even four degrees of tilt are visible to 90% of casual observers. This condition is typically caused by asymmetries in the jaw itself. It can also occur when a significant number of teeth on one side of the mouth are missing, causing the bite to be uneven. This condition is best corrected quickly to prevent other painful conditions such as TMJ from developing, which can lead to further asymmetry of the face. TMJ treatment can help make your face more symmetrical.

In cases of missing teeth, we can use implants and dental bridges to help readjust the bite. If the occlusal cant is caused by asymmetries in the jaw itself, porcelain veneers can help. They will not correct the problem but can work in conjunction with other treatments to create a balance of symmetry. Braces and orthodontic surgery may be required in more severe cases.

Make Your Face More Symmetrical with Help From Dental Treatments in Spokane

To learn more about the ways that restoration and cosmetic dentistry could help create symmetry in your face, schedule a consultation at our Spokane dental office with Drs. Marnie or Ken Collins. Please call (509) 532-1111 for your appointment at Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics in Spokane today.