Micrognathia: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, And Its Effect

Micrognathia: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, And Its Effects

Fetal alcohol syndrome | Symptoms | Causes | Diagnosis | Long term effects


What is Micrognathia?

Micrognathia, or mandibular hypoplasia, is a condition wherein a child has a very tiny lower jaw.

Size of the jaw is a lot shorter than the rest of the face.

Children might be brought into the world with this issue, or it can grow sometime down the road.

Micrognathia occurs mostly in children who are brought into the world with certain hereditary conditions, for example, trisomy 13 and progeria.

This implies means that Micrognathia is mostly a result of heredity.

Micrognathia can likewise be the aftereffect of fetal alcohol syndrome.

Sometimes, this issue disappears as the kid’s jaw develops with age.

In serious cases, micrognathia can cause trouble in breathing.

Moreover, it can prompt malocclusion of the teeth, which implies that your kid’s teeth don’t adjust or align accurately.

Children can have trouble feeding and even breathing. If your Newborn is having Micrognathia, then it can hamper the process of breastfeeding.


What is Fetal alcohol syndrome?

Fetal alcohol syndrome is a condition in the child when the mother is in exposure to alcohol or consumes alcohol during her pregnancy. The effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome vary from one child to another but when the child is born with those problems they mostly stay for life. That is why mothers are strictly warned against the consumption of alcohol while she is pregnant to avoid any such complications in her newborn.  

Reach your doctor without any delay if you notice the symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in your child, early diagnosis may help to reduce problems such as learning difficulties and behavioural issues. Micrognathia is also one of the results of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.


Symptoms of Micrognathia

In the medical terminology if your child is suffering from Micrognathia then they often outcast signs of “failure to thrive“. This means that children are not growing in the way they should grow by accordance with their age. The line that should indicate their growth is falling on the growth curve.

However, the symptoms of Micrognathia are not the same in every child. It can vary from one child to others. But here are some common symptoms of Micrognathia

  • Trouble in breathing.
  • Due to Micrognathia, mothers face problem in feeding their newborn. These difficulties can consist of prolonged feeding, inability to feed, and poor weight gain.
  • Noisy breathing.
  • Trouble in sleeping properly.
  • In rare case, parents will report that their child turns blue (cyanosis) when feeding or sleeping due to breathing difficulties.

Note: If your child is not able to breathe and they turn blue immediately visit your doctor!


Causes of Micrognathia

Most children are born with Micrognathia and some of the causes for Micrognathia are:

1. Pierre Robin syndrome

Pierre Robin syndrome makes your child’s jaw structure gradually in the womb, which brings about an exceptionally little lower jaw. It likewise makes the child’s tongue falling backwards into the throat, which can hinder with the passage from where the air enters thus making breathing troublesome.

These children may likewise be brought into the world with an opening in the top of their mouth (or congenital fissure). It happens in around 1 of every 8,500 to 14,000 births.


2. Trisomy 13 and 18

A trisomy is a hereditary issue that happens when a child has extra hereditary material: three chromosomes rather than the ordinary two. A trisomy causes extreme mental insufficiencies and physical distortions.

As indicated by the National Library of Medicine, around 1 in every 16,000 infants has trisomy 13, otherwise called Patau condition.

As per the Trisomy 18 Foundation, around 1 out of 6,000 infants have trisomy 18 or Edwards’s syndrome, except for the individuals who are stillborn.

The number, for example, 13 or 18, alludes to which chromosome the additional material originates from.


3. Achondrogenesis

An unusual Disorder which is usually inherited is known is Achondrogenesis.  In this rare disorder, the Pituitary gland present in the child is not able to produce enough growth hormone as per the need of the body. Due to this disorder, the body has to face some troubles like severe bone problems, including a small lower jaw and a narrow chest.  Achondrogenesis also results in the short size of:

  • legs
  • arms
  • neck
  • torso


4. Progeria

Progeria is a hereditary condition that causes your child to grow at a fast pace. Infants with progeria regularly don’t give indications when they’re conceived, however, they begin giving indications of their disorder inside the initial 2 years of their life. It’s because of a hereditary change, yet it’s not gone down through families. Children who suffer from Progeria may likewise have a slow growth rate, hair loss, and a very narrow face. One should not delay in visiting their doctor as soon as they notice the symptoms of Progeria.


5. Cri-du-chat syndrome

Cri-du-chat syndrome is an unusual heredity disorder that leads to the development of various disorders in the body and shows sign of physical deformities, including a small jaw and low-set ears. The name of this condition is Cri-du- chat because when infants with this condition or syndrome are born they usually create High pitched cat-like cry therefore it is named as Cri-du-chat. This syndrome is generally not passed from families, it is a rare condition.  One should consult their doctor about the required treatment to prevent any further complications that are caused by this syndrome.


Diagnosis of Micrognathia

Doctor’s usually examines the medical history of the child who is suffering from Micrognathia. Then some physical tests are also recommended for in detail study of the patient.

While the physical tests, the doctor usually observes the following key factors like:

  • The connection between the tongue and lower jaw of your child.
  • If your child has a cleft palate.
  • Whether your child is suffering from any facial asymmetries.
  • The relationship of your child’s upper jaw to their lower jaw.
  • Presence of a tongue-tie (lingual frenulum).
  • The overall health of your child.


When should one reach out to their doctor for the condition of Micrognathia?

  • One should contact their Newborn’s physician if their kid’s jaw looks exceptionally little or if your child is experiencing difficulty in eating or feeding.
  • Some genetic conditions can develop little jaw in your infants, these conditions can have serious complications and shouldn’t be ignored.
  • You should immediately contact your doctor to get the required treatment to prevent any further damage.
  • A few instances of micrognathia might be determined before birth by having
  • Inform your kid’s primary care physician or dental specialist as to whether your child experiences difficulty biting, chewing or talking.
  • Issues like these can be an indication of irregular alignment of teeth, which an orthodontist or oral specialist might have the option to treat.
  • You may likewise see that your kid experiences difficulty in sleeping properly or has delays in breathing during rest, which might be because of obstructive sleep apnea from a littler jaw.
  • Usually, when children grow in age, their jaw also develops. But still, if your child faces trouble in eating or feeding then they should be immediately taken to the hospital.
  • Newborn babies have an extremely weak immune system and if proper care is not taken then it can lead to drastic conditions.


Long term effects of Micrognathia?

  • Outcomes for children with micrognathia are generally good but can vary depending on the severity of the condition, how quickly it was diagnosed, and how it was treated.
  • Usually, Micrognathia does not have serious effects but if you notice symptoms like difficulty in eating or feeding, disturbance in sleeping pattern or difficulty in breathing then you should visit your doctor for the required treatment.
  • The symptoms and the causes differ from one child to another.
  • Genes or heredity conditions can also influence the development of Micrognathia.
  • Additional surgeries may be necessary depending upon your child’s jaw growth and development.
  • The Doctor will continue to monitor patients with micrognathia until they have reached skeletal maturity in adolescence.
  • Early diagnosis and ongoing monitoring help clinicians determine the best time to medically or surgically intervene to give your child the best long-term quality of life.



Micrognathia, or mandibular hypoplasia, is a condition wherein a child has a very tiny lower jaw.

Size of the jaw is a lot shorter than the rest of the face.


Symptoms of Micrognathia

  1. Difficulty in breathing
  2. Not able to eat properly
  3. Problem in sleeping
  4. In rare cases, the child turns blue and such a situation one should visit the doctor without any delay to prevent any mishappening.


When should one visit their doctor?

  1. When the child faces a problem in eating or feeding
  2. The child cannot sleep properly due to the pain in the jaw
  3. the Child faces problem in breathing.


Note: Newborn babies have an extremely weak immune system and if proper care is not taken then it can lead to drastic conditions.














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