What causes facial asymmetry and what should I do about it?

Symptom Database

Facial asymmetry is a common concern for many individuals. It refers to the unevenness or lack of balance in the facial features, which can affect the overall appearance and harmony of the face. Achieving facial symmetry and balance is often associated with facial aesthetics and beauty. In this article, we will explore the causes of facial asymmetry and discuss what can be done to address this concern.

Understanding Facial Asymmetry

Facial asymmetry occurs when one side of the face differs in shape, size, or position compared to the other side. It can affect various facial features, including the eyes, eyebrows, nose, lips, and jawline. While some degree of asymmetry is natural and common in most individuals, significant asymmetry can be noticeable and may lead to self-consciousness or dissatisfaction with one’s appearance.

Causes of Facial Asymmetry

Facial asymmetry can have several underlying causes, including:

  • Genetics: In some cases, facial asymmetry may be inherited from parents or other family members.
  • Developmental factors: Asymmetry can occur during the growth and development of facial bones and tissues.
  • Injury or trauma: Facial fractures or injuries can result in permanent facial asymmetry.
  • Oral habits: Prolonged thumb sucking, teeth grinding, or jaw clenching can contribute to facial asymmetry.
  • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), can cause facial asymmetry.

Effects of Facial Asymmetry

Facial asymmetry can have both physical and psychological effects on individuals. Some of the common effects include:

  • Self-esteem issues: Facial asymmetry can lead to a lack of confidence and self-esteem.
  • Social impact: Individuals with noticeable facial asymmetry may feel self-conscious in social situations.
  • Functional problems: In some cases, facial asymmetry can affect the proper functioning of the jaw, teeth, or other facial structures.

Addressing Facial Asymmetry

While complete correction of facial asymmetry may not always be possible, there are various treatment options available to improve facial balance and aesthetics. The appropriate treatment depends on the underlying cause and severity of the asymmetry. Some common approaches include:

Orthodontic Treatment

If the asymmetry is primarily due to dental or jaw misalignment, orthodontic treatment may be recommended. This can involve the use of braces, aligners, or other dental appliances to correct the position of the teeth and jaw.

Facial Contouring

In cases where the asymmetry is caused by differences in facial bone structure, facial contouring procedures may be considered. This can involve surgical interventions such as jaw surgery or chin augmentation to improve facial balance and proportions.

Injectable Treatments

Injectable treatments, such as dermal fillers or Botox, can be used to address minor facial asymmetry. These treatments can help restore volume, improve symmetry, and enhance facial contours.

Orthognathic Surgery

In more severe cases of facial asymmetry, orthognathic surgery may be necessary. This procedure involves repositioning the jawbones to achieve better facial balance and harmony.

Consulting a Professional

If you are concerned about facial asymmetry, it is essential to consult with a qualified professional, such as a plastic surgeon or a dentist specializing in facial aesthetics. They can assess your specific situation, determine the underlying cause of the asymmetry, and recommend the most suitable treatment options.

It is important to have realistic expectations when seeking treatment for facial asymmetry. While significant improvements can often be achieved, complete symmetry may not always be attainable. The goal is to enhance facial harmony and balance, improving overall facial aesthetics and self-confidence.


Facial asymmetry can be a source of concern for many individuals, impacting their self-esteem and overall well-being. Understanding the causes of facial asymmetry and the available treatment options is crucial in addressing this concern. By consulting with a qualified professional and exploring appropriate treatment approaches, individuals can take steps towards achieving facial balance, harmony, and improved aesthetics.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
Add a comment