Houston TMJ Dentist: TMJ and Facial Symmetry

Houston TMJ Dentist, Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF explains facial asymmetry is a result of asymmetry in the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) caused by some type of TMJ dysfunction. Even Michaelangelo showed how our bodies are intended to be symmetrical. No one wants to have an obviously unsymmetric face. This can, however, happen with TMD issues and can be a result of several scenarios:

TMJ and Facial Symmetry

Vitruvian man by Michaelangelo

1) Unbalanced facial muscles (muscles on one side working harder than the other),

2) Degeneration in the jaw joint (can make one side face shorter than the other)

3) TMJ Disc Displacement ( the disc between the skull and jaw joint becomes displaced and can lead to clicking, popping, pain, and even a locked jaw)

4) Uneven wear on your teeth from bite issues or even chewing only on one side

5) Poor Posture (yes, there is a definite connection of the head and neck and jaw)

Not all asymmetries are noticeable or even TMJ related. For those that are, most of the time they can be treated and corrected non-surgically. Often the jaw needs to be realigned to its correct physiologic position which can also allow for more even function of the muscles. Correctly aligning the jaw and muscles can lead to greater symmetry as well. The use of computerized instrumentation allows us to actually measure muscle function as opposed to guessing.

By the way, most faces are not perfectly symmetrical. An increasing number of patients often try to seek surgical solutions for their facial asymmetry not recognizing what is the cause of the problem. Correcting the cause often allows for non-surgical alternatives and less problems as well. If you have questions regarding Houston TMJ or Houston TMJ Dentist, please feel free to contact our office, 713-668-2289

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