Macrognathia is a disease to some extent. It is a condition where either of the jaws upper or lower jaw grows large or small abnormally but it is not painful. This kind of deformity has several origins. It can be caused due to trauma, congenital or it can be inherited. This condition can always be corrected with surgery. Macrognathia is associated with tumors and other disorders. This condition gives rise to other problems such as changing appearance, speech and eating style. When it comes to this abnormal growth of the jaw, it is due to the continuous secretion of growth hormone.
The mandible is mostly affected in this case giving rise to a condition where the bone protrudes. This is a technical wrong position of the jaws. In Macrognathia it is not only large bones but the teeth are abnormally large too. This condition is characterized by; –
Long maxilla – This is when the upper jaw is quite long and when smiling, the upper gum line is more exposed that it should be.
Macrogenia – this is a large chin that is out of proportion to an individual’s facial features.
Short maxilla – where the upper jaw is shorter and the upper teeth do not show.
Macrognathia – Small mandible and chin due to underdevelopment of the lower chin.
One of the causes of macrognathia is the use of forceps during birth where the baby is pulled out by clamping a pair of forceps on either side of the head. If the temperomandibular joint is badly bruised at this time, the mandible does not develop. At times, this condition is associated with heart disease. Bone is part of skeleton that constitutes calcium therefore; any disease that alters the calcium balance in the body affects the bones in some way. There are two bones that make up the up the lower and the middle third face, these bones are responsible for the shape of the face and its characteristic features to a large extent. One is maxilla and the other is mandible.
Some diseases arise as a result of some problem in later life, while some diseases are developmental in future. Macrognathia can interfere with the infant’s feeding thus children with macrognathia may need special nipples so as to feed comfortably. Many at times, macrognathia may be the only abnormality in a child. It corrects itself during growth, mainly at puberty when the jaw grows quite a bit. It also can be caused by certain inherited disorders and syndromes.
Macrognathia is one of the causes of teeth being aligned abnormally. An individual is able to notice this in the way the teeth close. Most of the time there will not be enough room for the teeth to continue growing. It is advisable to seek advice from an orthodontist when the child’s adult teeth props up or when your child seems to have a very small jaw. Children may develop micrognathia, and it is better to wait to treat the condition when they are older.