Protruding Lower Jaw: What are my options?
A severe underbite, or a protruding lower jaw, can have detrimental consequences for your smile’s appearance, and this condition can also limit your ability to chew effectively and efficiently.
That is why a protruding lower jaw, prognathsim, is a common reason cited by patients who are exploring jaw surgery to correct the defect.
Although early intervention (during childhood) can manipulate the jaw’s development to prevent this condition from developing to begin with, older patients with fully grown jaws are unlikely to respond to solely orthodontic interventions. In these cases, an oral surgeon may collaborate with an orthodontist to address the malocclusion while the teeth are being repositioned.
In performing this orthognathic jaw surgery, the oral surgeon will devise a plan to move the lower jaw back. This often involves removing some bone and repositioning the jaw so that the upper and lower jaws meet properly. The oral surgeon can discuss the specifics of your case with you when developing the treatment plan. If the surgery is a component of orthodontic treatment, the surgeon will collaborate with the orthodontist to determine the best timing for the jaw surgery.
Some patients may be daunted at the prospect of jaw surgery, but the surgery typically is not too disruptive to patients’ routines. Depending on the complexity of the case, the surgery may be performed in an office setting or in a specialty surgical suite or even a hospital.
It is important to be prepared for the recovery period so that you can minimize your risk of complications. You should spend an adequate amount of time discussing post-operative self-care and follow-up with your oral surgeon before your scheduled surgery date.
A protruding lower jaw can cause a number of problems, both aesthetic and functional, but the problem can be corrected by a skilled and experienced oral surgeon. If a misaligned jaw has been bothering you, schedule a consultation with our dual degree oral and maxillofacial surgeons to learn more about your treatment options.