asymmetric crying facies

"Asymmetric crying facies" is a condition seen once in a while in newborns. It is a congenital birth defect of the muscle that the angle of the mouth ("depressor anguli oris muscle") on the side that does not move properly. The baby looks fine until you make him cry. The other potential cause of asymmetric facies in newborns is Bell's Palsy. It would be caused by pressure on the facial nerve during passage through the birth canal. The way to tell the difference between the two conditions is that with Bell's Palsy, the muscles around the eye on the affected side will also be very weak, and you can easily open the eye when the baby resists - nearly impossible if the eye muscles are strong. There is no cure for asymmetric crying facies. As a matter of trivial fact, I believe that Elvis Presley had the condition.

The incidence of the defect is about 1 in 300 babies in one study done in Israel. Since in that study1 a possible association with heart or other congenital defects was noted, a careful evaluation of the heart is warranted.

  1. Asymmetric crying facies and associated congenital anomalies: prospective study and review of the literature. Journal of Child Neurology 2001 Oct;16(10):778.

Night, Night! Dr. Hull's Common Sense Sleep Solutions© Copyright© Site Information/Disclaimer