Children's Hospital Colorado

Micrognathia

What is micrognathia?

Micrognathia is an undersized lower jaw in children that can cause an overbite. Sometimes the jaw is small enough to interfere with feeding, sleeping or breathing. When micrognathia makes feeding difficult, special nipples or positioning might be helpful. Micrognathia can also cause teeth to align incorrectly because they don't have enough room to grow.

Micrognathia is relatively common in infants, but can correct itself as children grow. When it does not correct itself, non-surgical treatments are usually effective. At Children's Hospital Colorado, a team of specialists from our Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic will determine the best care plan for your child if they have micrognathia. This team includes pediatric otolaryngologists, plastic surgeons, craniofacial orthodontists and pediatric dentists, all of whom have special training in caring for children with micrognathia.

What causes micrognathia?

Micrognathia is typically congenital, meaning children are born with it. Children can inherit micrognathia or it can occur on its own through genetic mutations. It may be part of certain genetic syndromes, such as:

Who gets micrognathia?

Micrognathia is typically present at birth, but it can occur later in life. It is most common in children with specific genetic disorders. When jaw size corrects itself through growth, it usually happens between 6 and 18 months of age.