What Is Prognathism And How To Treat The Condition?

Definition of Prognathism

Prognathism, or Habsburg jaw, is a face abnormality that causes the jaws to protrude. Prognathism results from the upper teeth covering the lower ones or vice versa, making it difficult to chew, breathe, or speak. Additionally, prognathism can lead to speech development problems in children. For instance, kids may experience poor word pronunciation or lisp development. Besides, your child's permanent teeth may grow at the wrong angle. Prognathism occurs in the following ways:

  • Overbite or mandibular prognathism: Results from the protrusion of the lower jaw.
  • Underbite or maxillary prognathism: Results from the protrusion of the upper jaw.
  • Bimaxillary prognathism: Results from the protrusion of both jaws.

When you realize that you are suffering from prognathism, you need to get medical help to fix the jaw problems.

Causes of Prognathism

Prognathism occurs due to genetically inherited factors that result in your jaw's protrusion. Additionally, the following medical disorders can cause jaw problems:

  • Acromegaly: The disorder causes excess production of growth hormones leading to overgrown jaw tissue.
  • Basal cell nevus disorder: The disorder causes premature union of the skull's bones resulting in abnormally set jaws.
  • Acrodysostosis: This disorder interferes with bone development, where all the bones in the body are abnormally small. Therefore, even the jaw bones will be smaller than usual, resulting in abnormal jaw formation.

If you suffer from any of the above disorders, you will probably develop prognathism.

Treatment of Prognathism 

The most effective form of treatment for prognathism is orthognathic surgery. During the operation, the doctors modify one of your jaws or both depending on the severity of the jaw protrusion. The doctors usually administer general anesthesia and oxygen through a nasal tube, allowing the surgeon to access the mouth without problems.

While you might worry about scarring after the operation, understand that the procedure doesn't make visible cuts on the skin. Instead of accessing the jaws from the outside, the surgeon cuts the gums to get to the jaw. Then, the surgeon cuts the protruding jaw bone or adjusts it accordingly. Surgeons then place small shields and screws on the jaw to help the bones relocate permanently to achieve the correct bite. Additionally, your dentist may recommend that you wear braces for some time post-surgery until your jaw heals. Fortunately, you will recover quickly in a few weeks.

With orthognathic surgery, it's possible to restore your face's symmetrical shape and appearance. Therefore, if you're looking for prognathism treatment, consider having this operation.