(See also Overview of Temporomandibular Disorders Overview of Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) The term temporomandibular disorders is an umbrella term for a group of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions that involve the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the masticatory muscles,... read more .)
This condition usually results from trauma, infection, or irradiation occurring during the growth period but may be idiopathic. The deformity involves fullness of the face, deviation of the chin toward the affected side, an elongated mandible, and flatness of the face on the unaffected side. (The side to which the ramus is short causes muscles to appear fuller; the muscles on the unaffected side are stretched so that side appears flatter.) Mandibular deviation causes malocclusion Malocclusion Malocclusion is abnormal contact between the maxillary and mandibular teeth. (See also Evaluation of the Dental Patient.) This photo shows misalignment between upper and lower teeth as the jaw... read more .
Diagnosis is based on a history of progressive facial asymmetry during the growth period and x-ray evidence of condylar deformity and antegonial notching (a depression in the inferior border of the mandible just anterior to the angle of the mandible). There is frequently a causative history.
Treatment consists of surgical shortening of the unaffected side of the mandible or lengthening of the affected side. Presurgical orthodontic therapy helps optimize results.