Mr. Picassohead? Can TMD Give you a Face that looks like a Cubist Painting?

Most people have pretty strong feelings about modern art; they either hate it or they love it. But either way in real life no one wants their face to resemble something similar to a cubist painting by Picasso.

TMJCubistDo you look in the mirror and see Mr. Picassoface? In other words, do you feel one side of your face is drooping down more than the other?  Can TMD actually cause your facial muscles to become unbalanced and leave you feeling like a not so famous masterpiece?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes.  If left under treated or ignored, TMD can sometimes cause facial asymmetry, and the cause could be due to any number of underlying problems:

Chewing food

Sufferers of TMJ pain sometimes prefer to chew their food on a particular side of the mouth. This may cause your teeth to wear down unevenly. Over time, your jaw may develop a slight slopping appearance.

Joint Displacement

The temporomandibular joint can move any number of ways and erosion can cause one side of the joint to decrease in height. This can also contribute to a lop-sided appearance of the jaw.

Muscles working out of sync

If patients experience TMD symptoms more acutely on one side of the face than the other, they may try to compensate by working the jaw muscles much harder on the opposite side. An unfortunate side effect which follows is an over-development of the opposite jaw muscle. As it is constantly working and overcompensating, these muscles can start to develop a slight bulge.

Art doesn’t have to imitate life

If you feel that you are starting to develop an uneven appearance of the face, keep the following facts in mind:

For most patients with TMD, facial asymmetry, if it exists at all, it is barely noticeable. Often times we’re particular about our facial appearance, and as a result patients tend to believe the imbalance is much worse than it really is.

Another thing to consider is the perceptions of people around you. It may feel like the whole world will notice your facial asymmetry, but chances are, you’re the only one who notices any difference.

Finally, remember the problem not even be related to your TMJ. Are you tilting your head to one side frequently?   Most of us tilt our necks slightly when looking in the mirror to examine their facial joints. This creates the perception that a slant exists, when in fact, none is present at all.

However, in some instances, facial asymmetry may be a very real consequence of TMD. But again, art doesn’t have to imitate life. Call Dr. Auvenshine today to see what treatment options are right for you.

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