Aside from giving you that flawless, camera-ready smile, braces also correct facial asymmetry!
Has a lack of balance in your features ever caused you to look in the mirror, feeling a bit thrown off? Then it’s time you learned: an orthodontic treatment plan could very well help you fix your problems!
No, braces, brackets, and wires aren’t all that it used to be. We’re going to look at how braces and other orthodontic treatments can get you there as the field of orthodontics has evolved at lightning speed, bringing us a wide range of treatments able to fix facial asymmetry.
Table of Contents
Everything About Correcting Facial Asymmetry
How Do We Define Facial Asymmetry?
In simple terms, facial asymmetry is when one side of your face is not exactly matching the other, such as one eye being a bit higher or one side of your mouth curving more when you smile.
Here’s an illuminating fact: nobody’s face is perfectly symmetrical! Take a picture of your face, split it in half, and mirror each half — it will reveal two very different faces.
Medically, facial asymmetry can be detected even without photos or mirrors. Typically, it’s caused by congenital defects or factors such as aging, tooth loss, or sleeping on one side.
In some cases, sudden changes in facial symmetry can indicate a serious medical condition, such as a stroke. You should always check with your doctor if you notice any sudden or drastic changes in your face.
What Orthodontic Issues Lead to an Asymmetrical Face?
Asymmetry in our faces may be caused by orthodontic issues or jaw alignment issues.
In crossbites, the upper and lower teeth don’t meet correctly, similar to trying to close a shoe box with one side hanging over the edge.This condition causes the jaw to shift to one side, resulting in an asymmetrical face over time.
Having an open bite means your upper and lower teeth don’t meet up properly when your mouth is closed. Imagine trying to bite into a sandwich with your upper and lower teeth not touching.
Having an open bite will cause your facial muscles to overcompensate, causing changes in your facial structure.
Think of a big, juicy burger when you bite down. Normally, your top and bottom teeth overlap a bit when you bite. With an overbite, your upper teeth come down too far over your lower ones — it’s like your upper teeth decided to throw a party and didn’t tell your lower teeth!
If you have an underbite, your lower jaw sticks out farther than your upper jaw, resulting in a prominent chin on one side of your face.
Missing Teeth and Uneven Tooth Growth
Finally, missing teeth or uneven tooth growth can cause facial asymmetry, too.
Similarly, teeth that are significantly different in size or shape on one side of your mouth can cause facial asymmetry.
When you lose a tooth, your surrounding teeth can start to shift into the empty space, throwing off your face’s balance.
Facial Asymmetry: A Sign of Something Worse?
Despite everyone exhibiting some degree of facial asymmetry, more noticeable or sudden changes in the face’s structure may indicate underlying health issues.
Among these conditions is Bell’s palsy, characterized by sudden weakness or paralysis on one side of the face. This condition makes it difficult for the patient to smile or close the affected eye. Fortunately, Bell’s palsy is often temporary, and most patients recover gradually.
It is possible that facial asymmetry is a sign of TMJ disorders, which affect the joint that connects your jaw to your side.
Lastly, tumors or growths may cause facial asymmetries in rare instances.
Can Braces Help Facial Asymmetry?
A good set of braces will help you move your teeth and fix bite issues, contributing to the overall balance of your facial features.
When you have an overbite, underbite, or crossbite, your face may look a bit asymmetrical. Braces can correct the bite, and your face shape will transform. Braces focus mostly on the teeth, not the jaw.
In cases where your facial asymmetry is caused by the jaw, traditional braces won’t provide a significant benefit. This may require more intensive treatments, such as orthognathic surgery. Your orthodontist and oral surgeon can help you with this.
While you will not wake up one day looking drastically different, you will notice more balanced facial features over time as a result of wearing braces.
Orthodontic Treatments to Fix Facial Asymmetry
Orthodontics offers a wide range of treatment options for facial asymmetry!
When your teeth are wonky and causing your face to look lopsided, braces or clear aligners are the ways to go. These appliances place constant pressure on your teeth, slowly moving them into the correct position and balancing out your facial features.
A functional brace is another type of braces used to correct a misaligned jaw structure in kids and teens whose jaws are still growing.
Your orthodontic treatment plan will need to include orthognathic surgery to correct the asymmetry.
Finally, palatal expanders may be necessary to facilitate the fitting of teeth together and enhance facial symmetry in some patients.
Ready to Address Your Facial Asymmetry? Loudoun Orthodontics is Here to Help!
Contact Loudoun Orthodontics if you think orthodontic treatment is the solution to your dental woes. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of orthodontic treatment or have questions about the process, use our live chat or call (703) 858-0303 or send us a message through our contact us page to connect with our friendly staff today to book a complimentary orthodontic consultation! Our office, located at 19465 Deerfield Ave, Suite 304, Leesburg, VA 20176, proudly serves not just Loudoun County but also the Greater Washington DC area. So, if you’re residing in Ashburn, Lansdowne, or Sterling, and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in Virginia, don’t hesitate to visit our office! We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining sparkling oral health, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to become a part of our smiling community!
- Watson, Kathryn. “Asymmetrical Face: Causes, Treatments, and More.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 20 Apr. 2023, www.healthline.com/health/asymmetrical-face. Accessed 18 May 2023.