Dysgnathias are misalignments of the jaws that can affect the aesthetics and the function of the masticatory system. These misalignments can affect the upper jaw, the lower jaw or both jaws and have a variety of effects on appearance, dental health and overall quality of life.
The causes of dysgnathia are diverse. They can be genetic or arise from poor growth patterns, early loss of primary teeth, persistent mouth breathing, certain habits such as thumb sucking, or a combination of these factors. Accidents or illnesses can also lead to dysgnathia.
Symptoms of dysgnathia include visible irregularities in jaw alignment, difficulty chewing and biting, speech problems, chronic jaw pain, and, in some cases, breathing problems. Aesthetically, dysgnathia can alter the facial profile and lead to an unbalanced appearance.
Dysgnathia is usually diagnosed by a (school) dentist or orthodontist. A careful clinical examination is supplemented by imaging techniques such as cephalometrics and digital volume tomography (DVT). A precise analysis of the jaw relationship, tooth position, upper respiratory tract and facial aesthetics is crucial. Detecting dysgnathia early increases the chance that the treatment costs could be covered by disability insurance.
Treatment for dysgnathia depends on the severity and type of deformity. A combination of orthodontic treatment and surgical correction is often required. Orthodontics prepares the surgical correction by placing the teeth in an optimal position. The jaws are then surgically repositioned to achieve optimal functional and aesthetic improvement.
The role of the oral surgeon:
The oral surgeon plays a central role in the treatment of dysgnathia. They carry out the surgical procedures and are also significantly involved in the planning and aftercare. Close collaboration with orthodontists is essential for optimal treatment results.
Dysgnathia can significantly impact the health, function and aesthetics of the masticatory system. Early diagnosis and individually tailored treatment are crucial for successful correction and improvement of the quality of life of those affected.