Difference in skeletal growth between the upper and lower jaws may lead to both functional and psychological difficulties. Functional difficulties may include problems with chewing, swallowing, speech or TMJ performance.
Patients may also exhibit psychological difficulties stemming from aesthetic and social concerns. Some abnormalities may only involve misaligned teeth and can be corrected orthodically with braces or other appliances. Serious growth disturbances, however, require surgery to realign the upper and lower jaws into a more normal relationship. Common dentofacial deformities, including under or overdevelopment of the jaws (prognathia, micrognathia, retrognathia), or misaligned teeth (overbite or under bite), can make it difficult to eat, swallow, speak, and breath.