Asymmetrical Smile Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand asymmetrical smile symptoms, including 6 causes & common questions.

This symptom can also be referred to as: uneven smile

  1. 6 Possible Asymmetrical Smile Causes
  2. Real-Life Stories
  3. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  4. Statistics
  5. Related Articles

6 Possible Asymmetrical Smile Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced asymmetrical smile. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Condition causing facial weakness

Facial weakness may be the sign of a stroke or bell's palsy & requires immediate medical attention.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: face weakness

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Bell's palsy

Bell’s palsy can present as acute or chronic facial paralysis. This paralysis is usually sudden in onset and worsens over the course of 48 hours. Resolution of symptoms usually occurs within two weeks to six months but permanent paralysis can rarely occur. Symptoms of this condition are a result of the paralysis of facial muscles. This paralysis usually occurs only on one side of the face. The cause of Bell’s palsy is inflammation or damage to the facial nerve, also known as cranial nerve VII. This nerve controls the muscles of the face. Treatment is aimed at reducing inflammation or targeting the underlying cause of facial nerve paralysis.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: arm weakness, facial numbness, arm weakness, hearing loss, pain on one side of the face

Symptoms that always occur with bell's palsy: face weakness, weakness in one side of the face

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Stroke or tia (transient ischemic attack)

Transient ischemic attack, or TIA, is sometimes called a "mini stroke" or a "warning stroke." Any stroke means that blood flow somewhere in the brain has been blocked by a clot.

Risk factors include smoking, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, though anyone can experience a TIA.

Symptoms are "transient," meaning they come and go within minutes because the clot dissolves or moves on its own. Stroke symptoms include weakness, numbness, and paralysis on one side of the face and/or body; slurred speech; abnormal vision; and sudden, severe headache.

A TIA does not cause permanent damage because it is over quickly. However, the patient must get treatment because a TIA is a warning that a more damaging stroke is likely to occur. Take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Diagnosis is made through patient history; physical examination; CT scan or MRI; and electrocardiogram.

Treatment includes anticoagulant medication to prevent further clots. Surgery to clear some of the arteries may also be recommended.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: dizziness, leg numbness, arm numbness, new headache, stiff neck

Symptoms that never occur with stroke or tia (transient ischemic attack): bilateral weakness

Urgency: Emergency medical service

Asymmetrical Smile Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your asymmetrical smile

Head and neck cancer

There are five main types of head and neck cancer, which are all named according to the part of the body where they develop: laryngeal (voice box), nasal cavity and sinus, nasopharyngeal (air passage way behind the nose), oral (mouth), and salivary gland cancers. Most of these cancers are squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), meaning they begin in the flat (squamous) cells that make up the thin surface layer of the structures in the head and neck.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: loss of appetite, unintentional weight loss, hoarse voice, neck bump, ear canal pain

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Cholesteatoma (a non-cancerous growth in the ear)

Cholesteatoma is a type of skin cyst that is located in the middle ear and mastoid bone in the skull. It can be a birth defect though more commonly occurs as a complication of chronic ear infection.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: ear fullness/pressure, ringing in the ears, pain in one ear canal, vertigo (extreme dizziness), hearing loss in one ear

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Wegener's granulomatosis

Wegener's granulomatosis, more recently re-named granulomatosis with polyangiitis, is a disorder in which a dysregulated immune system causes widespread inflammation of small blood vessels throughout the body. This results in slower or impaired blood flow to your nose, sinuses, throat, lungs, and kidneys.

Symptoms can be widespread and affect various parts of the body such as the eyes and ears or respiratory system, yet usually begin more generally with fever, fatigue, a loss of appetite, and weight loss. With treatment, a full recovery is possible; however, this condition can be fatal.

Treatments include immunosuppressive medications in order to control the disease in the short- and long-term.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, loss of appetite, joint pain, shortness of breath, fever

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Real-life Stories

Once your story is reviewed and approved by our editors, it will live on Buoy as a helpful resource for anyone who may be dealing with something similar. If you want to learn more, try Buoy Assistant.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Asymmetrical Smile

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Have someone else watch you during this physical exam. Try to close your eyes tightly. Can you close both eyes fully?
  • Is the skin on your face asymmetrical?
  • Have you noticed any vision changes?
  • Have you noticed a change in your hearing?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Asymmetrical Smile Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your asymmetrical smile

Asymmetrical Smile Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced asymmetrical smile have also experienced:

  • 17% Face Deformity
  • 10% Facial Asymmetry
  • 4% Drooping Eyelid

People who have experienced asymmetrical smile were most often matched with:

  • 43% Stroke Or Tia (Transient Ischemic Attack)
  • 37% Condition Causing Facial Weakness
  • 18% Bell'S Palsy

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant (a.k.a. the quiz).

Asymmetrical Smile Symptom Checker

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