Facial Proportions and Human Health

Facial structure predicts overall health problems.

Ideal facial proportions are universal regardless of race, sex and age, and are based on the phi ratio of 1.618. For example, if the width of the face from cheek to cheek is 10 inches, then the length of the face from the top of the head to the bottom of the chin should be 16.18 inches to be in ideal proportion.  Deviations from this ideal can result in health problems.  Corrective procedures that return the face to this ideal can improve health.

People with longer than ideal faces tend to have breathing problems

Studies indicate that people who have long faces tend to have problems breathing through their nose as their sinus cavities tend to be narrow, inhibiting airflow.  Consequently, these people tend to breathe through their mouth, a contributing factor for some people who snore or who suffer from sleep apnea.  Mouth breathers also tend to have narrow mouths and crooked teeth.  Orthodontic appliances can widen the face and mouth, which in turn widens the sinus cavities, allowing easier breathing through the nose.

People with shorter than ideal faces tend to have jaw problems

People with shorter faces tend to have abnormal jaw development which causes excessive pressure on the jaw joint.  Many people with short faces suffer from headachesbecause their jaws are positioned in a manner that can restrict blood flow to the brain.  Stress can further aggravate this problem because people subconsciously clench and grind teeth.  Orthodontic appliances can lengthen the face, which helps relieve pressure on the jaw joints.

IdealLong face
Short face

Orthodontic appliances can adjust facial proportions and improve health

These insights and illustrations were provided by Yosh Jefferson, DMD, MAGD, a general dentist in Mount Holly, NJ and founder of FACES, an organization dedicated to the study and treatment of facial esthetics and jaw joint problems.  In his practice, Dr. Jefferson manipulates patients’ facial-skeletal structures to improve overall health and hasdemonstrated that changing a patient’s facial structure can produce dramatic aesthetic results similar to plastic surgery without one incision.  Visit Dr. Jefferson’s site athttp://www.facialbeauty.org.

According to Dr. Jefferson, “The further away a person’s face is from the ideal proportions and profile, the more likely that person will have certain medical problems.  In fact, when I see a patient for the first time, I can predict with great accuracy the medical problems from which they suffer, especially sinus problems and migraines.”

Dentists who specialize in an emerging field called functional orthodontics can improve facial beauty, and in some cases, overall health, without the cost, pain, and recovery time and potential risks associated with plastic surgery.  Using orthodontic appliances that change the shape of the mouth by manipulating the upper or lower jaw, Jefferson and other functional orthodontic practitioners can enhance beauty and eliminate such chronic health problems as sinus infections, headaches, earaches, breathing difficulties and jaw disorders.

Reference:  “Unraveling the mystery of facial beauty and its biologic significance,” Yosh Jefferson, DMD,  MAGD, IBO, Journal of General Orthodontics, Volume 7, Number 2, June 1996

See also http://www.agd.org/consumer/topics/overallhealth/longface.html


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