Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2015

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In


First Advisor

Holton, Nathan E

First Committee Member

Southard, Thomas E

Second Committee Member

Marshall, Steven D

Third Committee Member

Srinivasan, Sreedevi

Fourth Committee Member

Yokley, Todd


Introduction: Nasal septal deviation may contribute to facial asymmetry. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between nasal septal deviation and facial asymmetry using three-dimensional geometric morphometric methods.

Methods: Computed tomographic scans were made of n=55 adult subjects, and septal deviation was calculated as a percentage of septal volume relative to the volume of a modeled non-deviated septum. Skeletal landmarks representing nasal, palatal, and lateral facial regions were recorded, and landmark data was superimposed using Procrustes analysis. ANOVA/MANOVA tests determined degree of overall fluctuating and directional asymmetry. Finally, correlation analysis and multivariate regression were used to examine relationship between septal deviation and asymmetry of the individual facial regions.

Results: Septal deviation was significantly correlation with lateral deviation of the nasal floor, vertical and lateral asymmetry of the anterior palate and width asymmetry of the posterior posterior palate and posterior alveolar thickness, but was uncorrelated with the overall magnitude of asymmetry. There was no correlation between septal deviation and lateral facial asymmetry.

Conclusion: Nasal septal morphology is linked to nasal and palatal asymmetry. Deviated growth of the septum may pre-dispose patients to dental and skeletal asymmetries that have important orthodontic considerations.

Public Abstract

Asymmetries of the face, dentition and jaws are usually due to growth disturbances and are common occurrences in the general population. They are often recognized and treated by orthodontists. Many believe that the nose, and a midline structure called the nasal septum play an important role in the growth of the face and as such, deviated growth of the nasal septum may contribute to the development of facial asymmetries.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between asymmetry (deviation) of the nasal septum (a midline structure of the nose) and the presence of asymmetries in the jaws and face. Three-dimensional computed tomography (CT) scans of 55 adults were obtained and used for data collection. The amount of asymmetry of the nasal septum was calculated and landmarks representing nasal, palatal, and lateral facial regions were recorded. The data collected was statistically analyzed to determine the amount of asymmetry in each of the three regions as well as to determine the amount of correlation between asymmetry of the nasal septum and asymmetry of the three regions.

Our results indicate that there is significant correlation between nasal septal deviation and asymmetry in specific aspects of the nasal and palatal regions. Deviation of the nasal septum is correlated with specific asymmetries in nasal and palatal form and thus may predispose patients to dental and skeletal asymmetries, which are important to orthodontists and surgeons in diagnosis and developing a treatment plan to address facial asymmetries.




viii, 60 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 55-60).


Copyright 2015 Christopher Henry Hartman