Jaw elongation in children

So far, there has been no satisfactory treatment. Dr. Vazquez has the solution and the answer to your questions.

Why does my child have a small jaw?

What facial changes will my child have with a mouth respirator?

What oral changes will the child present?

What changes at the skeletal level?

What psychological changes?

What psychosocial changes?


How are children’s jaw problems treated today?

If the child breathes through the mouth, he or she should be assessed and treated first by an otolaryngologist.

Despite treating the cause of oral respiration, some children persist breathing through the mouth, as they have already acquired the habit.

When the defects are small orthopedic treatments: Frankel’s apparatus, Carriere’s Distalizer, they can perform an occlusion correction, but never in a demonstrable way lengthen the jaw and thus improve respiration.

Until now had to wait to adulthood and perform an orthognathic surgery to solve this problem. But this alternative in the mandible advances of more than 6 mm is unpredictable.


In addition, the child has to undergo tedious orthodontic treatments, withstand the lack of self-esteem and the symptoms derived from his bad breathing.


In short: treatments are long, late and unpredictable.

How can and should they be treated, according to Dr. Antonio Vázquez?


Treatment is to lengthen the mandible by osteogenic mandibular distraction with the IMDO technique.

IMDO consists in, during a small surgical procedure, cutting the bone between the first and second molars, to place a mandibular distractor. From the third day, we begin to lengthen the jaw activating the distractor at a rate of 1 mm daily until reaching the desired length.

The gap created will be transformed into bone.

Three months afterwards, we will withdraw the distractor and in the event that the child would not have chin, we will perform a mentoplasty.


What benefit would my child have if this technique is performed?

  • It would solve your problem in months
  • Improvement of your facial appearance, which would also improve your self-esteem
  • Improvement of oxygenation
  • Improvement of your attention
  • Improvement of your posture
  • Improvement of your snoring problem
  • You would avoid orthognathic surgery in a future
  • And the most important of all, we would avoid that you suffered sleep apnea in the future, with all the problems that this disease entails.


When is the ideal time to perform this surgery?

This surgery can be performed from the age of 12. If the case is extremely serious, the protocol can be advanced.

What is the postoperative?

Surgery can be performed on an outpatient basis. During the distraction, it has to maintain good hygiene, to eat a soft diet and to avoid physical contact.

Remember, the most important thing is that this treatment is the only one that will guarantee a growth of your sons  jaw in a short space of time, improving not only aesthetics but it will also have the benefits of a good oxygenation of its tissue , postural improvement and self-esteem improvement

El Dr. Antonio Vázquez resuelve tus preguntas frecuentes

IMDO Children

Question: Why does my child have a small jaw?

The causes are multifactorial, you can have a:

  • OrigGenetic origin, similar to one of the parents,
  • Alteration of the nasal respiration that requires breathing through the mouth, which causes the palate to narrow, the mandible does not grow and suffers insufficiency of lip closure
  • Oral habits, atypical swallowing, pacifier sucking, and thumb sucking among others

Question: What facial changes does the child have with a mouth respirator?

  • Adenoid facies, hypodevelopment of the bones of the nose, dark circles, open mouth, lip incompetence.
  • Narrow nostrils of the side of respiratory deficiency with hypertrophy of the other Narina or the narrow two.
  • Pale skin
  • Hypertrophy of the chin tassel muscle
  • Hypotonic upper lip, flaccid arch-shaped.
  • Hypertonic lower lip.
  • Cracked, dry lips, with the presence of fissures in the corners, cheilitis angular could be obtained candidiasis.

Question: What oral changes?

  • Anterior open bite with or without lingual interposition.
  • Posterior, unilateral or bilateral cross-bite.
  • Transverse narrowness of the upper jaw, a deep and narrow palate.
  • Presence of secondary habits atypical swallowing, labial suction.
  • Retrognathism of the lower jaw or mandibular rotation down and back
  • Vestibuloversionof upper incisors
  • Linguoversionof lower incisors
  • Linguoversionof upper posterior teeth
  • Egression of anterior upper and lower, or posterior teeth.
  • Chronic gingivitis

Question: What psychological changes occur in the child?

  • Hearing loss, by variation in the position of the condyle. By keeping the mouth open, the sound wave becomes weak and this causes an apparent "Aprosexia" lack of memory. The child does not retain information because he or she does not hear well.
  • False anorexia, they eat badly because of the difficulty of coordinating breathing with chewing when swallowing.
  • Snoring

Question: What psychological changes occur in the child?

  • The child is lazy when getting up because he or she can’t sleep well due to the bad breathing.
  • Poor school performance

An interesting topic is to assess the self-esteem of these children and their acceptance by their peers.

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