What is prognathism and how can it be treated?

Ear PainPrognathism is a condition where the upper or lower jaw protrudes further out than the other. Classified as a malocclusion, prognathism can present problems with oral function along with worn dentition and TMJ disorder. Treating prognathism normally involves jaw surgery but some mild cases of this condition can be improved with orthodontic treatment. If jaw surgery is required, an oral surgeon will perform it. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are specialists who treat an array of oral conditions that affect the mouth and face.

What causes prognathism?

Many times, prognathism is caused by congenital issues. Patients can be born with a protruding upper or lower jaw, and in some cases, both jaws can protrude abnormally. In other instances, a protruding jaw might develop when excessive growth hormones are released into the body. There are a few lesser-known conditions that contribute to prognathism as well.

Why should a protruding jaw be treated?

When the jaws are misaligned, people can experience disruptions in oral function that affect one’s ability to bite, chew, speak, and open their mouths comfortably. Disruptions in smooth oral function can produce significant discomfort in the form of jaw pain and facial pain as well as headaches. Since the jaws are misaligned, teeth will make improper contact during oral function, leading to worn dentition. As teeth become worn down, patients are incredibly susceptible to fractured or chipped teeth and cavities. Moreover, jaw surgery will improve one’s appearance. Prognathism can be very obvious to others. Having this visible imperfection corrected can greatly boost a person’s self-confidence.

How can jaw surgery help?

Jaw surgery corrects the protrusion of the jawbone, therefore allowing a person to enjoy a healthy occlusion and comfortable oral function. Orthognathic (jaw) surgery can involve correcting the positioning of the jaws by moving them forward or backward or by removing excess bone.

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