Prognathism - Different Conditions, Treatment & Precautions

Prognathism - Different Conditions, Treatment & Precautions

First, let's learn what is prognathism? Prognathism or protruding jaw is the overdevelopment of either the upper jaw or lower jaw about the other jaw and the skull. This results in incongruity where the jaws and teeth do not fit together properly and one jaw may protrude out. When this condition affects the upper jaw, orthodontic surgeons term it as overjet, maxillary excess, or an overbite. If the lower jaw protrudes, it is commonly called an underbite or mandibular prognathism. These conditions may be treated by a doctor or maxillofacial surgeon such as Dr. Anurag Bhargava.


First, let's discuss the causes of prognathism.

In some, it may be genetic rather than caused by an underlying medical condition.think

Other conditions that cause prognathism are:

  • Basal cell nevus syndrome is an unusual inherited condition that causes abnormal facial characteristics, including prognathism.
  • Acromegaly is caused when the body produces excess growth hormone. This causes enlargement of the lower jaw.
  • Acrodysostosis is a congenital condition that influences bone growth. People affected by it have short arms and legs, a short nose, and a small upper jaw which makes the lower jaw look larger than normal.

Need to Consult a Doctor

For people who have a prognathic face from birth, it may not be a problem. But when complications such as misaligned teeth take place people may have a prognathic face from birth. If you have prognathism that’s caused by gigantism or acromegaly, you may need additional treatment for such conditions.

Gigantism is an increase in growth hormone before the growth plates in the bones have closed, and the condition found in kids.

Acromegaly is an increase in growth hormone but the increase occurs after the growth plates have closed, and the condition is detected in adults.

It is a tumor on your pituitary gland or in other parts of your body. If not properly treated acromegaly disease can lead to:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Heart disease
  • Arthritis
  • Vision problems

Contact your doctor if you have a protruding jaw and other symptoms of acromegaly such as:

  • Widened nose
  • Protruding brow
  • Increased space between your teeth
  • Swollen hands and feet
  • Swelling in your joints
  • Muscle weakness
  • Joint pain

Misaligned Teeth

Prognathism can cause a condition called malocclusion of the teeth or misaligned teeth.

Such teeth can cause problems with:

  • Biting
  • Chewing
  • Talking

They also increase the risk of gum disease and tooth decay and are harder to clean than properly aligned teeth.

They’re also more difficult to clean than properly aligned teeth, which increases your risk of gum disease and tooth decay.

If you feel that your teeth are misaligned, make an appointment with a dentist. They can check your jaw alignment, take X-rays, refer to an orthodontist for treatment if needed.

Basal cell nevus syndrome or Gorlin syndrome raises the risk of basal cell carcinoma.

If you develop unusual spots or growths on your skin refer to a dermatologist for testing.

In acute cases, basal cell nevus syndrome can affect your nervous system.

This can cause complications like:

In serious cases, basal cell nevus syndrome can affect your nervous system and can cause complications such as:

  • Deafness
  • Blindness
  • Intellectual disability
  • Seizures

Consult your doctor if your child has a protruding jaw and other symptoms of basal cell nevus syndrome such as:

  • Cleft palate
  • Large head
  • Widely spaced eyes
  • Pitting in the palms of your hands or on your feet
  • Spinal problems including scoliosis or kyphosis.


Acrodysostosis is rare. If your child is born with this condition, it raises their risk of arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome.

It may also restrict their ability to move their:

  • Hands
  • Elbows
  • Spine

Make an appointment with your doctor if your child has a protruding jaw and other signs of acrodysostosis such as:

  • Short arms or legs
  • Short height
  • Malformed hands or feet
  • Curved Spine
  • Small upturned nose
  • Widely-set ears
  • Hearing problems
  • Intellectual disability

Treatment for Prognathism

An orthodontist can adjust misaligned teeth by using braces or orthognathic surgery. During the surgery, the surgeon will remove and reposition parts of your jaw bone.

Prognathism occurs with a smaller jaw, so the smaller jaw may be made longer, while the larger jaw is set back. They will use plates, wires, screws to hold your jaw in place.

You are required to wear braces before and after surgery of jaw disease to move your teeth into new positions.

If you suffer from prognathism caused by an underlying medical condition, your doctor might recommend other treatments.

Acromegaly Treatment

If acromegaly that’s caused by a tumor, The doctor may surgically remove the tumor. You may also need radiation therapy to shrink the tumor. To control or block the effects of growth hormone, the doctor may prescribe medication.

Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome Treatment

Your doctor will suggest the desired treatment for cell nevus syndrome on the affected body parts. Basal Cell carcinoma can be removed by carcinoma.

Acrodysostosis Treatment

The treatment plan for acrodysostosis will depend upon the severity of the condition. The doctor may recommend surgery to help correct bone deformities. Nutritional supplements can help promote bone growth. Your healthcare provider may refer a child to educational, vocational, or social support services to cope up with an intellectual disability.

Precautions After Corrective Jaw Surgery

After corrective jaw surgery, you are required to follow a modified diet for about 6 weeks. Then you can continue your regular diet. The surgeon prescribes pain killers for your jaw to heal.

You will return to your routine in about 3 weeks after surgery. Your jaw will need about 12 months to completely heal. Consult your surgeon about your post-surgery recovery.

Prevention of Prognathism

Prognathism caused by the basal cell nevus system cannot be prevented.

If you are planning for a family and you want to know if there is a possibility of you transmitting a genetic condition to them, your doctor may refer you to a genetic counselor. They can help you understand and manage the expected risk.


Prognathism occurs when your lower jaw, upper jaw, or both halves of your jaw protrude beyond the normal range. It can occur in a genetic condition. It can also develop for unknown reasons.

To realign your jaw, your doctor may refer you to an oral surgeon or plastic facial surgeon for corrective surgery.

If your teeth don’t fit well together because of prognathism, you can go to an orthodontist or dentist like Dr. Anurag Bhargava who can adjust the position of your teeth.

If prognathism is caused by another condition, your doctor may suggest additional treatments.

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