Asymmetrical smile (what is it?)

Asymmetrical smile (what is it?)

In this guide, we will discuss what an Asymmetrical smile is, why you could have an asymmetrical smile or asymmetric facial features, how you could test if your face is asymmetrical and a few treatment options to consider.

Asymmetrical smile

If you have an asymmetrical smile it is not something to be ashamed or embarrassed about.

You may have noticed when you looked at pictures, when you see yourself in the mirror or even a friend/relative has pointed out how some features don’t seem to line up with each other as they are supposed to.

Subsequently, having traits that don’t mirror one another (perfectly) on both sides of your face is what is known as asymmetry.

Some experts believe we all have some degree of asymmetry on our faces, it is just that some cases are more noticeable than others.

Moreover, some of the factors that may be associated are injury, aging, smoking, etc.

Even though facial asymmetry is considered normal if you notice sudden changes then it could be a sign of a serious condition such as stroke or Bell’s palsy.

This is why it is important to be aware of these types of changes in the asymmetry of your face.

Asymmetrical smile (what is it?)

Moreover, studies conducted on facial attractiveness and dental esthetics have indicated that there is a significant impact on the social status and quality of life since attractive individuals are perceived to be more intelligent, talented, and successful.

One of the important components of facial attractiveness is smile esthetics, according to some studies.

However, teeth color, vertical thickness, and symmetry of the lips have also ranked as important features.

As indicated in a study conducted on upper lip asymmetry during smiling, “Facial and smile asymmetries can arise not only from the hard tissue, but also from the soft tissue imbalances.

Furthermore, lip asymmetry can affect the amount of tooth and gingival display, which could also contribute to an aesthetic smile.

The effect of hard tissue cants on facial esthetics has also received much attention in the literature; however, soft tissue asymmetry should also be analyzed as a patient’s smile can have a dramatic impact on the esthetic results of both orthodontic and surgical cases.”

The Asymmetrical smile might indicate some health problem but the lopsided smile is the genuine smile one gives when happy.

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Why do I have an asymmetrical smile?

One of the most common causes is genetics, where sometimes an asymmetrical face is the result of development and genetics.

It could also be a feature that runs in your family or has been inherited directly from one or both parents.

Another reported cause seems to be sun damage. When we are aging, exposure to UV rays can cause wrinkles to be more prominent in our skin as well as patches, spots, and moles.

You may have noticed how sun damage is rarely equal or evenly distributed across our face. 

Consequently, sun exposure and damage can potentially cause damage to one side or a specific area of your face. 

Moreover, if you have had a tooth extracted, it can actually contribute to changing the way your face muscles appear.

In addition, using dentures or getting dental veneers can also affect facial symmetry.

Asymmetrical smile (what is it?)

When we age, facial asymmetry seems to increase which is really considered a normal and natural part of the process of aging.

Even though our bones stop growing when we hit puberty, our cartilage keeps growing as we age. This means our ears and nose will keep growing and change as we age, which may cause facial asymmetry.

There are many other factors associated with facial asymmetry but we will mention three of the most representative on acquired/sudden changes.

For instance, trauma or injury to your face during childhood or adulthood can be responsible for facial asymmetry (i.e. broken bones).

Moreover, if you have suffered from a paralysis of your facial nerves such as Bell’s palsy, it results in weakening the muscles on one side of your face, contributing to facial asymmetry. 

Finally, a stroke occurs when the blood supply to one part of your brain gets interrupted or is reduced, preventing your brain from getting enough oxygen.

If you are potentially suffering from stroke, you may have noticed how your smile is uneven or there is numbness on one side of your face, arm numbness, or difficulty speaking.

If you notice any of the symptoms, seek immediate medical assistance.

How can I test if my face is symmetrical?

You can test your face symmetry by evaluating it at home. First, print a photo of yourself where you are in front of the camera and you can see your whole face.

No sunglasses or anything that could cover any part of your face.

As indicated by Kathryn Watson from healthline.com: Mark the following points on the photo of your face.

Or, if you’re using a mirror, use a marker you can wipe off the glass later:

  • the peak of your forehead and the bottom of your chin (This is the only set of points you will check for vertical symmetry; the rest are horizontal.)
  • the crease on the far side of both of your eyes
  • the crease of where each of your eyes begins next to the bridge of your nose
  • the crease where your lips begin on both sides
  • the widest point of both sides of your face
  • the widest part of your nose on both nostrils
Asymmetrical smile (what is it?)

Grab a ruler and check if you can mark a perfectly level, horizontal line between each set of points as mentioned above.

In addition, there are now many free apps that will evaluate your photo at no cost and rate your facial symmetry.

However, don’t take the results of the apps too seriously and don’t be discouraged if they seem to know how ‘attractive’ you are based on a formula.

Your attractiveness won’t depend on it but on the unique features that make you who you are, besides the app won’t be able to determine if you have gorgeous hair or a beautiful smile.

Is there a treatment?

An asymmetrical face does not necessarily require being treated or surgical intervention.

Especially when facial asymmetry is attributed to normal aging and genetics, and on many occasions, these types of features are what make a face unique.

However, if you are concerned about your appearance due to facial asymmetry, there are some surgical and cosmetic procedures you could consider.

For instance, inserting or injecting fillers may help asymmetry if it is caused by a tissue imbalance or muscle weakness.

However, consider how the effects are only temporary and not a permanent solution such as the case of botox injections that last around 3 to 4 months.

A second option would be facial implants where through a surgical procedure, a surgeon can use the implant to give the appearance of balance in a face being the most common enhancement procedures the ones involving cheeks, jaw, and chin.

This is considered a permanent solution but consider how the implants may contain silicone, gels, plastics, metals, and proteins.

Asymmetrical smile (what is it?)

In contrast, we have the popular ‘nose job’ or rhinoplasty if what you need is to correct the asymmetry of your nose.

Usually, surgeons perform these types of procedures to help someone breathe better or correct a broken nose.

However, they may also perform the procedure with aesthetic purposes.

Finally, let’s consider facial exercises which seem to be a trendy and non-invasive procedure, easy to carry at home and with no complications.

However, many people would not recommend them because there is a lack of scientific research and support for their benefits.

Still, there are plenty of exercises you can find on youtube (i.e. face yoga) if you would like to give it a try.

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Why is this blog about Asymmetrical smile important?

An asymmetrical smile is not something to be ashamed or too concerned about.

However, we understand how people have a higher rating and preference towards symmetric than asymmetric features, which can make many people lose confidence and feel unattractive.  

If you decide to do the symmetric test at home or use an app for it remember not to take the results too seriously since the apps and programs only consider a ratio and an equation to calculate your attractiveness but they don’t consider other unique features.

Even though there is no need for treatment, there are several options to consider in terms of invasive and non-invasive procedures (where there is a lack of evidence), but it is important to evaluate if it is actually worth the risk. 

Some people are unable to distinguish what people are feeling, through their expressions or face.

You can learn about it in the blog on Emotion faces.

Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Asymmetrical smile

What causes asymmetrical smile?

An asymmetrical smile is believed to be determined by genetics.

If it is a prominent feature in your family, the risk of having asymmetrical lips will increment.

Moreover, cleft lip and palate as well as vascular disorders are genetic conditions that researchers have indicated as causes for asymmetrical features.

How do I fix my uneven face shape?

If you want to fix your uneven face shape it is recommended to stretch the tighter side, the muscles that become tighter for your tongue to push more on one side than the other.

This involves doing tongue exercises, identifying the side of your neck that feels tighter, etc.

Make sure you visit a specialist on this matter for additional information on what you can do to correct uneven face shape.

Are crooked smiles attractive?

Crooked smiles can be considered attractive and add to someone’s charm.

This is really a matter of perspective and it is a subjective matter, meaning what someone finds attractive may not be for someone else, so don’t be discouraged if someone doesn’t find your crooked smile attractive because for sure someone else will.

Can sleeping on one side cause asymmetrical face?

Sleeping on one side may potentially cause asymmetrical faces and the reason why is because when you have a favorite side, it can weaken the area where the skin naturally folds, making them deeper on one side.

Additionally, if you have poor posture and resting your face on your hand, it may relate to having facial asymmetry.

Remember that your ears and nose grow and change as you age, which may cause asymmetry.

Is asymmetrical face attractive?

Scientifically speaking facial asymmetry is considered less attractive than symmetrical faces.

Studies evaluating or rating human faces in terms of their attractiveness have shown that symmetrical faces have higher ratings of attractiveness than asymmetrical faces.

However, this doesn’t mean asymmetrical faces are nor attractive at all.

References 

Brown, P. (2020, Mar.) What to know about having an asymmetrical face. Retrieved from medicalnewstoday.com.

Watson, K. (2018, Sept.) Asymmetrical Face: What Is It, and Should You Be Concerned?. Retrieved from healthline.com.

Daniela Paez

Daniela Paez is a Clinical Psychologist with an MSc. In Clinical Neuropsychology from Bangor University. She has vast experience in working with children with disabilities, adolescents and their families, in extreme conditions of poverty and vulnerability. Additionally, she owns a private practice where she provides neuropsychological evaluation for children and adults, and treatment for mood disorders, anxiety, couple therapy, among other conditions.