What is Retrognathia?


You might not have heard of retrognathia before but this is what we commonly hear of as an overbite. It is an abnormal positioning of the jaw. Read on for further details.

What is Retrognathia?

Retrognathia is a condition where one jaw is located behind the other at an unusually longer distance than what is considered normal. It is one type of malocclusion where the teeth are misaligned because of the irregular positioning of the jaws. The condition is also otherwise known as retrognathishm and is usually categorized according to how to each jaw is affected. Normally, our jaw consists two parts: the mandible and the maxilla. The maxilla has two bones that fuse at the top or the roof of the mouth and thereby makes up our upper jaw. The maxilla holds our upper teeth in place.

The mandible, on the other hand, makes up the lower jaw and is the one responsible for holding our set of lower teeth in place. It has a horseshoe shape. It is the mandible which is more commonly affected by retrognathia compared to the maxilla. In this occasion, it goes by the name mandibular retrognathia. This implies that the lower jaw moves back to the point that it is so far back with the upper jaw in its
usual place. Maxillary retrognathia, meanwhile, involves the upper jaw’s recession and thus, it is pushed way behind the lower jaw.

What is an Overbite?

The terms are often misused for the other. The word overbite is used specifically for the condition that has the front teeth of the maxilla overlap the teeth on the mandible. It does not refer to the positioning of the mandible being far behind the maxilla.

Causes of Retrognathia

The condition is mainly brought about by genetics. One other reason for this condition is injury or trauma, most especially in cases where the jaw does not heal as it should. Infants are more prone to the latter cause because their bones are still on the process of fully forming. Other factors attributed are infections related to the bone as well as surgery for oral cancer.

Should we Worry?

Retrognathis is not generally a dangerous state. It can, however, affect eating and make it difficult. It can also create problems to our overall dental health as well as change our facial appearance. It can be treated though. People that have this condition can correct the deformity of the jaw and get a normal occlusion of the lower and upper teeth using braces for alignment with the help of an orthodontist. They can also go for surgery which grafts or removes some part of the jaw with the help of a dental surgeon.

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