Signs & Symptoms

Jaw Deformity
Signs and Symptoms

Jaw deformities can lead to problems with speaking, chewing, swallowing and breathing. The condition also may cause undue stress on your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and facial muscles, affecting the long-term health of your gums and teeth. Jaw deformities also may cause pain, degeneration and jaw clicking.

In addition, improper alignment of your jaws and teeth may affect the entire appearance of your face. Correcting your jaw deformity may greatly improve your facial aesthetic. You may have one of the following aesthetic problems due to your jaw deformity:

  • Underbite or overbite, caused by malocclusion (the improper alignment of the teeth in relation to the first molars)
  • "Gummy smile," in which your upper jaw has grown too far down
  • "Long face syndrome," in which you have an open bite with a long-looking face
  • "Toothless smile," in which your upper jaw is too small

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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