5 doctors weighed in:

What causes habsburg jaw?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Martin Raff
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
3 doctors agree

In brief: Genetics

Prognathism (also known as habsburg jaw) is a term describing the relationship of the mandible and/or maxilla to the skeletal base where either of the jaws protrudes beyond a predetermined line in the coronal plane of the skull.
In general dentistry, oral and maxillofacial surgery and orthodontics this is assessed clinically or radiographically (cephalometrics). It is genetic.

In brief: Genetics

Prognathism (also known as habsburg jaw) is a term describing the relationship of the mandible and/or maxilla to the skeletal base where either of the jaws protrudes beyond a predetermined line in the coronal plane of the skull.
In general dentistry, oral and maxillofacial surgery and orthodontics this is assessed clinically or radiographically (cephalometrics). It is genetic.
Dr. Martin Raff
Dr. Martin Raff
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2 comments
Dr. David Schleimer
An aside: many royal families of Europe have/had serious genetic disorders, some serious, some not (as a result of centuries of inter-breeding). The Russian royals suffered from hemophilia, the Hapsburg's (Austro-Hungarian Empire) suffered from large, protrusive lower jaws: prognathism.
Dr. John Scuba
Unfortunately, while there is often a genetically determined cause of "benign" (usually symmetrical) prognathism, it is important to consider other factors. In some less common cases a continued growth of the jaw joint bone (condyle) has been observed, called "condylar hyperplasia". This leads to the excessive lower jaw lengthening and protrusion seen in prognathism. In fact, some cases continue into adulthood, despite jaw reconstructive surgery and other intervention. In addition, benign tumors of the condyle (osteochondromas) can contribute to prognathism, usually asymmetrical, but still prognathism.
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