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Prognathism is having jaws that project forward more than is usual.

Prognathism is the positional relationship of the mandible and/or maxilla to the skeletal base where either of the jaws protrudes beyond a predetermined imaginary line in the coronal plane of the skull. In general dentistry, oral and maxillofacial surgery and orthodontics, this is assessed clinically or radiographically (cephalometrics). The word 'prognathism' derives from Greek pro (forward) and gnathos (jaw). One or more types of prognathism may result in the common condition of malocclusion (including overbite), in which an individual's top teeth and lower teeth do not align properly.


Prognathism is well recorded as a trait of several historical individuals. The most famous case is that of the House of Habsburg, among whom mandibular prognathism was a family trait; indeed, the condition is frequently called "Habsburg Jaw" as a result of its centuries-long association with the family. Among the Habsburgs, the most prominent case of mandibular prognathism is that of Charles II of Spain, who had prognathism so pronounced he could neither speak clearly nor chew as a result of generations of politically motivated inbreeding. The consequence of this and other genetic defects was the War of the Spanish Succession.

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