How to treat prognathism with braces: complete guide

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Dr. Natália Morales is a specialist in Endodontics, Implantology, Dental Prosthesis and 3d Dentistry and has been dedicated for 14 years to caring for patients with odontophobia. Reference in humanized care.

How to treat prognathism with braces

Mandibular prognathism is one of the most challenging orthodontic disorders. Therefore, many wonder whether a simple orthodontic device can treat.

The condition impairs not only the facial aesthetics of patients, but also breathing and chewing.

Learn more about mandibular prognathism and how the use of an orthodontic device can be effective in the treatment.

What is prognathism?

Prognathism is a disorder that causes a kind of crossbite, in which the lower teeth exceed the upper ones, projecting the patient's jaw and chin forward.

The point is that for the chewing process to take place properly, the upper part of the dental arch must match the lower one. Preferably, with the upper incisors covering the lower ones.

Therefore, pragmatism causes a series of aesthetic damages, as well as impediments to speech and breathing.

What are the different types of the disorder?

It can be said that there are four types of mandibular prognathism: (good jaw and mandible) protruded; (mandible and maxilla) retracted; retracted maxilla and mandible and retracted maxilla with protracted mandible.

What causes prognathism?

In general, prognathism is caused by poor formation of the facial bones, which can be caused by a number of factors.

The disorder is commonly transmitted through genetics, that is, it is developed from flaws in the genetic material or depending on the patient's family history.

In this sense, the more relatives with the disease the patient has in the family tree, the more likely it is to develop prognathism.

However, it is known that there are some everyday habits that can stimulate bone malformation, even in people without hereditary issues. The act of sucking the fingers (or a pacifier) and bad positioning of the tongue in the mouth are some of the main ones.

What are the consequences of mandibular prognathism?

Typically, patients with prognathism suffer from joint noises and chronic headache (or migraine), which can also affect the ears (with tinnitus) and musculature. Other consequences of the presence of the disorder include:

  • swelling in the face;
  • Sensation of pressure behind the eyes;
  • Difficulties closing or opening the mouth completely.

Poor positioning of the dental arch also causes speech impediments and impairs chewing. Not to mention the obvious disharmony and/or deformity of the face.

As the symptoms of mandibular prognathism can be easily associated with that of TMD – Temporomandibular Disorders, it is extremely important to consult a qualified dentist to understand the proper diagnosis and treatment.

Can orthodontic braces treat prognathism?

Failures in the development of the jaw and jaw can be changed with the help of an orthodontist, through functional orthopedic treatments or with the use of orthodontic appliances.

Treatment should be carried out preventively, intercepted or shortly after the peak of puberty, as this is the period that comprises the jaw growth process.

When done early, there is a much wider range of treatment options, as well as more satisfactory and lasting final results.

Bear in mind that the more developed the mandible and maxilla are, the more difficult it will be to change their positioning.

Therefore, in many circumstances, it is necessary to apply more than one procedure to solve the problem.

How does orthodontic treatment work?

The use of orthodontic appliances as a form of treatment is very common among patients with prognathism, and the most common models are: tongue appliance and aesthetic self-ligating appliance, indicated for patients who are already in the permanent dentition phase, to compensate for dental inclination and fit the dental arch properly.

There are cases in which the use of orthodontic braces needs to be done in conjunction with jaw bone repositioning surgery (orthognathic).

The surgical solution can be applied either before or after using the device, depending on individual specifications.

In cases where the patient suffers not only from poor mandibular (and/or maxillary) positioning, but also from misalignment of the teeth, dental alignment must be performed before using the orthodontic appliance.

With this, it is worth mentioning that only a professional in the area is able to say which is the most efficient method (or methods) for the patient.

The self-ligating orthodontic appliance is a good option

Because it's a more discreet option than more traditional alternatives, self-ligating braces are often the favorite choice in every dentist's office.

Especially among patients with prognathism, who feel uncomfortable with the aesthetic damage caused by the disorder.

Can braces prevent the disorder?

Children with a family history of prognathism can be prevented from the disorder with the use of braces.

The use of the device in patients still in the phase of dentition of milk or mixed can mold the bone growth of the face, instead of correcting the teeth.

Including, it is increasingly common for patients still in the first dentition phase to use orthodontic braces.

In any case, the best procedure for treatment may vary from case to case. The safest thing is to have periodic follow-up by a dentist as soon as the first milk teeth appear.

In this way, any intervention carried out in the future will be minimally invasive and, probably, much more satisfactory.


As we have seen, prognathism is characterized by the overlapping of the lower dental arch under the upper one, projecting the chin and jaw forward.

It is considered one of the most complicated orthodontic disorders, as it impairs appearance and basic body functions, such as chewing.

The good news is that the use of orthodontic appliances is indeed valid as a form of treatment, as well as a method of preventing prognathism.

The team at Odonto Liuzzi is made up of specialists in the most modern techniques of orthodontics and the treatment offered is exclusive and humanized. Make an appointment with our orthodontists to find out what can be done about your case.

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